The United States is in turmoil. Everyday there seems to be a new disaster, world-wide pandemic, institutional racism, fear, unnecessary death, hatred. The nation is mourning and it can be easy to start to feel helpless. Contradictory information can lead to confusion, which can lead to inability to act. We were, however, called to more! When we do not know what else to do, the best starting point is prayer for a country in crisis.
I have personally spent the better part of the last few weeks wondering what I can do or say to make a change. Every time, the same answer stares me in the face. Pray. Pray for America. Pray for our leaders. Pray for the hearts of her people.
We have to remember, and continue to remember that the God we serve is greater than the things that divide us. He is greater than the turmoil and the grief in the country. He is all powerful and when we pray for our country, he is faithful to hear us and act! Use this article as a guide to prayer for the country and use it in your war room as we petition heaven to bring peace to the nation.
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What does God say about praying for our country?
Should we pray for America? ABSOLUTELY! Without a doubt we should be praying, but don’t take my word for it. God is very clear in the scriptures about what he commands us to do when it comes to praying for our country.
“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”1 Timothy 2:1-2
This season has unfortunately brought out the very worse of the country. No one is exempt, we have all allowed our feelings to cloud our judgement and we have found ourselves in our perspective corners. Instead of stepping across party lines and finding our commonalities, we have chosen to stay in our own comfort and stroked our egos with words that speak to our own position. Many of us pray, but a lingering thought sits in the corners of our minds… “Why should we pray for America?”
We should pray because we were commanded to pray. We should pray because too many of us have chosen to rest on what is comfortable to us and not sought to dig deeper to what God is calling us to.
We are called to pray for everyone. Prayer humbles us and postures our hearts to hear the cries and disparities of those who are different from us. Prayer reminds us that the differences we see are nothing compared to the love that God has for all of us, and when we pray with the intention of listening for God’s voice, we find that our hard stood by positions may not be as important as we claim them to be.
How do we pray for the country?
With everything that is going on in the country, deciding what to pray for can be overwhelming. With so many hearts hearting and feeling broken who do you prioritize in your prayers? Consider listing prayer points for the nation and praying through these. (I like to list these points of prayer in my prayer journal and use them daily in praying for the country. Some prayer points for the country to include are:
- Pray for those grieving injustice
- Pray for those mourning loss of loved ones from senseless deaths
- Pray for those incarcerated unjustly
- Pray for opened eyes of those who have yet to see the deeply rooted racism in our country
- Pray against the spirit of guilt, shame, and pride that will try to hinder forward progress
- Pray for the safety of those on the front line of protests
- Pray for renewed strength of those who feel exhausted from the heaviness of the weight of racism
- Bind the spirit of hatred and dissent
- Pray for wisdom and courage of those in leadership to stand up against bigotry and prejudice
- Pray for softened hearts of leadership who have yet to see how divided the nation is
- Pray for unity in diversity
- Pray for hope and healing
- Pray for peace
It is vital that the prayer warriors of this nation remain diligent in their fight against disunity, fear, and corruption. ALL of us are prayer warriors. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us:
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
The beauty of prayer is that it helps build our confidence, because prayer is both an act of submission and a declaration of boldness! Prayer allows us to lay down our burdens and boldly say I am a child of God!
Why should we pray for our nation during trials?
Aside from the fact that we are commanded to pray as part of our daily communion with God, there are many reasons to pray for our nation.
- It is our duty to pray for our nation
- Prayer makes a difference
- We gain wisdom through prayer
- We gain direction through prayer
- We gain protection through prayer
- Prayer changes us
- Prayer allows us to battle spiritually
- Prayer activates our faith
- We are reminded of God’s grace and can therefore give grace to others
- Prayer humbles us
When we pray, we are speaking with the God of the Universe. Through Jesus, we have access to bring our concerns for the country before our Father in Heaven. Prayer allows us to discuss the state-of-affairs with our All-knowing God and we can seek guidance and strategy.
While prayer should not be all we do, it is absolutely the least we can do to help bring progress to our country.
What is the importance of prayer for a country in crisis?
Daily prayer is one of the most effective tools we have to fight against our true enemy. It is our direct access to God of all creation. Prayer is how we activate the power of heavens to move and change the atmosphere of the situation on earth!
We have a very real enemy, and he has woven a dialogue of hate and oppression into the fabric of this country! He has used his favorite tactics, fear and deceit to veil the eyes of many believers and non-believers alike. Prayer allows us to ask God for the specific things we need to see change. We can request softened hearts of those who do not see the racial tension, we can pray for those who are grieving, we can seek guidance.
How to pray for the nation
The following prayers are examples of how to pray for our nation during this crisis. They are starting points for some of the prayer points above. You can dwell on the words, write them down in a journal, or simply use as a guide to direct your own prayers. Each includes a list of scriptures to use to pray through for the nation.
Pray for unity in diversity
The greatest threat to our country is the division of her people. As a country we are being divided, and instead of taking a moment to be quiet and listen, we are defensively sharing our point of views without considering that the stories of others may hold validity. We must remember that our country is made more beautiful because of our differences.
When we pray for unity we are praying for cooperation, inclusion, equity, and a community of people that remember that we are God’s children first and foremost! Praying for unity in diversity is a reminder that God created each of us with unique strengths and his perfect will included those beautiful differences.
Heavenly Father, we pray that you would fill each of us with unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. We know that you made us with your hand, unique and with a different purpose. Remind us of that father as we look at our brothers and sisters of different races. Allow us to see each other through your eyes, beautiful in our uniqueness, created by the God of heaven. Unite us despite our differences for each of us plays a different part in the body of Christ, and each part is important! We praise you in advance for your faithfulness to us. In Jesus name, amen.
Scriptures to pray for unity in diversity: 1 Peter 3:8, Colossians 3:14, Philippians 2:2, 1 Corinthians 1:10, Colossians 1:16-17
Pray for comfort and strength
There are so many people hurting throughout the country. Many mothers fear for the lives of their children and the moment when their little ones are no longer cute and become seen as a threat. These mothers and fathers are exhausted, scared, and yet constantly trying to keep up a strong front in the midst of battling fear.
As Christians we are called to comfort those who are hurting. We are called to encourage and strengthen those who are in need, because that is the will of the father. We have to remember that regardless of someone’s skin color, or political affiliation, they are still a child of God as loved by the Father. Who then are we to speak ill of them or to disparage them. This prayer for our country is a prayer to encourage those who may be hurting, fearful, or concerned.
Lord in Heaven, you promised you would be close to the broken-hearted and near to the one low in spirit. We are confident of this and praise you for strengthening those who are hurting and grieving. Lord we pray that you would comfort the mothers who have lost children, encourage the mothers who fear for their children’s future in this country. Though hearts may be discouraged, we know that you have commanded us to be courageous and strong. We know you are with us and with our children and we thank you for your constant presence. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures to pray for comfort and strength: John 16:22, Psalm 34:18, John 14:1, Psalm 73:26, Joshua 1:9
Pray for peace for the nation
We need to pray for peace for the nation more than ever. Dissent and discord seem to be at an all time high, daily we see news of disagreements, acts of hatred, and disunity.
I believe that God is calling his children, he is raising up his people and calling them to pray for peace. Our intercessory prayer for the nation is critical at this time more than ever! This prayer for peace can help guide your thoughts as you pray for God’s peace to reign.
Father, make me a peacemaker. Allow me to be a bridge for your children. We know that your heart breaks when we argue and fight instead of serve you well and speak the truth of Jesus to the masses. Forgive us for allowing pride and prejudice to stain our work to share your message of Love. Lord remind of us that night when the Angels proclaimed the arrival of Jesus on earth, the prince of peace. Renew our hearts and soften it towards one another. Lord rain your peace over this nation. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures to pray for peace: Luke 1:78-79, Job 22:21-22, Luke 2:13-14, Psalm 4:8, Matthew 5:9
Pray for justice for all
God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good. The very nature of the father we serve is just and goodness. He sent his son to walk among us and to be our model for everyday living. Currently, we are failing as a nation to lift this mantle. The pledge of allegiance of the United States of American ends with this final thought…
“with liberty and justice for all”
Liberty and Justice. This is what we pledge when we said those words growing up. Those were the guiding principles that the founding fathers created our constitution upon.
Praying for justice for all, which is one of the foundational truths of this nation, is both desperately needed and essential to us moving forward as a country.
Lord, you are good, you are holy, you are just, you are kind. Lord we pray that you would search our hearts and root out anything that is unlike you. Forgive us for not following your example. Lord we seek justice, we rebuke oppression, and want to do good. We want to do your will. We know that you have called us to love kindness and to walk humbly with you. Guide us Lord and show us the way. We pray for those who like the pharisees profess you with their mouths but whose hearts are from you and whose fruits are rotten. We bind the spirits that keep them following the ways of the world. In Jesus name, Amen.
Scriptures to pray for justice: Psalm 89:14, Isaiah 1:17, Micah 6:8, Psalm 82:3, Luke 11:42
Pray for leadership the unites
The heart of the King is like a stream in the hand of God. No leader is subject to action without judgement, and while judgement may not come on earth we will all come before the father and have to account for our actions. When that day comes, political parties, race, and other dividing factors will not matter. Praying for our leadership means praying for the hearts of those currently in charge and also praying the prayer that Samuel prayed when seeking God’s anointed David.
Father in Heaven, with you, anything is possible. You turned the heart of Pharoah, and showed your power when the Isrealites were in captivity and bondage in Egypt. You softened the heart of the Pharoah through your mighty power. Lord, we ask for that same miracle today. We pray that you would give wisdom and empathy to our current leadership. We pray that you would rise up leaders with hearts like yours. Hearts that are kind and seek you and the truth of your word above all else. We pray for revival in the leadership of this country. We pray for leaders that will seek to find common ground and unity above all else. We know that only you can change hearts and we praise you in advance for all you are doing and getting ready to do. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures to pray for leadership: Jeremiah 29:7, 2 Chronicles 7:14, Psalms 2:10-11, Proverbs 11:14, Proverbs 21:1
Pray for hope and healing of the nation
Although the nation may be in crisis, we serve a God of restoration. While there are those who would seek to highlight the negative only, there is hope also. People of all races are marching in Alabama and Mississippi. Families are having tough conversations about race relations. Children are seeing progress happen. It is more than okay to have hope and be encouraged. Prayer works and praying for our nation during turmoil will reap a harvest of revival and healing.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for Jesus. Thank you for the hope that we have in him. Thank you for your faithfulness. Thank you for your strength, we praise you because we know that while suffering may last for a little while joy comes in the morning. We pray to you confident and believing that joy is coming. We believe that reconciliation and racial equity can happen through Jesus. We are filled with hope in your word and your truth. We believe that this nation can heal and that the sins of the founders of this nation will stop here in this generation. We are encouraged that even in this moment, you are changing our hearts and the hearts of those around us. We praise you in advance for all you are doing. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Scriptures to pray: Psalm 46:1-3, Proverbs 18:10, 2 Corinthians 12:9, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, Hebrews 4:16
After we pray what can I do?
Prayer is a powerful first step in moving this country towards racial equity and healing, but it is not the most we can do. Each of us has a role to play as citizens of this country. Individually and collectively we can find outlets to serve the community based on our giftings and strengths. Together we can help our country find its way to healing and reconciliation.
Here is a list of some resources that can help you find your place! I will continually add to this list! Share any additional resources you may have in the comments below!
Racial Equity Tools -“Racial Equity Tools is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. This site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.”
Be the Bridge – “Our vision is to be a credible witness to authentic racial bridge-building, racial literacy, and personal and organizational transformation. Our heart and passion is to display God’s glory by inspiring the Church to have a distinctive and transformative response to racial division.”
Racial Equity Resource Guide – “The directory of materials found on this site have been prepared as a shared tool for building a community of connected, informed and engaged practitioners. With the ability to generate a Resource Guide tailored to their own goals, these materials are practical resources that will assist organizations working within the racial healing and racial equity field.”
Compass Point – “We are a 43-year-old national nonprofit leadership practice based in Oakland, CA. We believe that nonprofits are powerful vehicles for positive social change and that creating a world free of oppression means practicing liberation inside and out.”
Be sure to share any additional prayer points you have below! I would love to pray them alongside you!