A Prayer for our Nation
Our nation is in chaos. It appears a “perfect storm” is upon us. So many hurts and calamities combining to create mass confusion, extreme emotionalism, knee-jerk calls to action, and even greater hatred and division. A pandemic. Government abuses of power. Then a very public murder. Then another murder. Then more murders, riots, looting. All the while a “mega drought” plagues the Southwest, tornadoes rip through the South and hurricane season is upon those in the East. And oh, let’s not forget all the riots and protests are sure to cause a massive spike in COVID-19 cases (at least if what we have been told for months about this virus is actually true). One can only expect more shutdowns and economic woes if that does occur. God help us!
Too many Christian leaders, prominent and obscure, seem to want to start talking all about these kinds of things the moment they are happening. Gotta get my tweet out before someone else does! Gotta stay fresh. Current. Relevant. Gotta endorse certain movements before bothering to research them to see what they really stand for and are proposing. Gotta get woke.
While I do intend to address various issues in the weeks ahead pertaining to some of the chaos taking center stage in our nation and world, primarily for the sake of the local church I shepherd and serve, I am fully convinced that where we must begin is on our knees. Not kneeling at a local protest. Rather, kneeling beside our beds with our wives and children, kneeling in our church houses with our brothers and sisters, kneeling with other local churches in area-wide calls to prayer. Why is our first inclination in the Church today to tweet or start a Facebook debate? Let us pray.
Almighty God, it is You who have created us and not we ourselves. Forgive us, Lord, when we try to live as our own gods. We ask as Your chosen people, those whom You have redeemed by the blood of Jesus, that You create in us first a hatred for sin in our own hearts. “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel?” (1 Peter 4:17) Help us, Holy Spirit, to pull the logs out of our own eyes that we might once again help our neighbors and society and nation and leaders identify the specks in their eyes.
Where we have tolerated abortion, please forgive us. Where we have winked at sexual perversions and distortions of your design for marriage, for sexuality, for gender, please forgive us. Where we have cheated on our taxes or conducted our business in under-handed ways, or spent Your money in ways that defy Your holy Name, please forgive us. Where we have caved to Darwinian evolution and all of its implications in every facet of our society, please forgive us. Where we have allowed education systems to remove God, denigrate the Bible, and replace the gospel with a foundation of atheistic humanism, please forgive us. Where we have shown partiality, or harbored animosity in our hearts based upon the world’s category of “race,” please forgive us. “And He made from one blood every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth” (Acts 17:26). And “here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all. Put on then as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, meekness, humility, patience” (Col 3:11-12). Forgive us, Lord, for allowing the Church to be segregated by walls of partition Jesus has torn down at the cross! Forgive us Lord for not fighting against oppression and violence, whether individual or systemic, wherever it is found. And for our prayerlessness in the face of such demonic onslaught over many decades in our nation, O Lord, forgive. What we are experiencing now pales in comparison with the everlasting lake of fire that we justly deserve, as individuals and as a nation. So we pray, “In wrath, remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2). Our only plea is the righteous life, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son and our Savior. Politics, education and money cannot fix this. Only Jesus changes and purifies human hearts. Help Your people again proclaim the gospel boldly, from coast to coast.
Our hearts are grieving as Christians in Your Church, and as Americans. We have seen injustice. We have watched precious men and women of all skin colors, all made in Your image, die needlessly or be harmed by violence and hatred and malice. We mourn for all the families who have lost loved ones or livelihoods in recent calamities, whether pandemic, storms, police abuse of power, or rioters abuse of privilege. O God help! O God save! O God! We need You! Heal us by Your gospel. Restore unto us the foundations of true justice and true mercy, as revealed only in Your Holy Word the Bible. We beg for Your grace in Christ to flood this land. We praise You for both Your acts of judgment, and Your acts of mercy; for You do all things well. Revive Your Church in America O Sovereign One. Awaken sinners to their absolute need of the Salvation and Lordship of Jesus the Messiah. Make Your Church in America holy again. So we can yet again declare Your holy law and your holy cross with clarity of conviction. Restore our prophetic voice in this land. Employ us in Your kingdom service to spread the Name and Fame of Jesus to our next door neighbors, and to the peoples who have yet to even hear the Name. And should You ordain for America more suffering and judgment, O Father God grant Your people endurance in Christ Jesus. Be glorified in us as we worship You whatever the circumstance or cost!
“O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive. O Lord, give heed and act. Delay not, for Your own sake, O my God, because Your . . . people are called by Your name” (Daniel 9:19). Amen.