We are on the downhill side of this series on 20 Ways to Pray, but I do not what you to think that these last few weeks are less important! Case in point: our focus today! We are focusing on praying for our country and its leaders and military. Paul says that we should pray for “all people” and then that we should especially pray 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). If you live in a relatively stable country, relatively free to exercise your right to pray in peace, such as in the United States, then it is easy to take such blessings for granted. I recognize that I am blessed to live in the US and with that blessing comes a responsibility to pray for my country. The worse things get, the more we should pray. As I write this, we are in the first 24 hours of a ‘government shutdown’ in the US, where all non-essential federal employees are furloughed. What more of a reminder could we have that prayer is vitally needed in our country? And if you don’t live in the US, then I’m certain there are needs in your country that could hold up to the Father in prayer. He is concerned about everything that concerns us. Let’s go to Him in prayer.
NOTE: as I live in the United States, these prayers are focused on that nation. However, the principles remain the same and could be applied to any nation. I have written these prayer notes in the third person (your country instead of our country) so that any believer in any country can adapt this list to their own home. You may find that the way I’ve written certain points does not reflect the realities of your country; then I encourage you to read the accompanying verse(s) and ask God how you should pray in light of His Word.
The Prayer List
- Recognize that praying for your country is a mandate. Thank God for the privilege of standing in the gap for millions of people. Also, recognize the goal of your prayers is so that we may all live in peace. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
- Pray for national leadership. This includes the president, the Congress, and the Supreme Court. As those at the top of the line in government, their decisions often have the most far-reaching effect not only on our lives, but on the lives of millions of other people as well. 1 Peter 2:17
- Pray for state and local leadership. This includes the governor, the legislature, the mayor, the city council, and local courts and law enforcement. Pray that they will live by the laws they create, setting a good example for all citizens, and not be subject to corruption. Romans 13:11
- Pray for wisdom for those in leadership. Even if they are not God-fearing men and women, God can turn their hearts to the way of wisdom. Proverbs 21:1
- Pray for the prosperity of your country, state, and city. While this may sound selfish and self-centered, it is based on a command given to God’s people while they were in exile. If the country prospers, then it is likely that God’s people will prosper as well. And if God’s people prosper, they will be freer to share the love of God with others. Jeremiah 29:7
- Pray that God’s people in the country will humble themselves and ask God to forgive the corporate sins of the nation. Pray also that God will bring healing to the land from its many sins. 2 Chronicles 7:14; Nehemiah 1:5-7
- Pray that the leaders of your country will be God-fearing men and women. If they are not currently believers in the Almighty God, then pray that they will become believers. Pray that believing men and women will be elected to replace those who do not fear God. Psalm 2:10-11
- Pray that your country will be an example to other countries of the world of generosity, grace, love, and justice. Pray for moral leadership to be a real thing. Pray that victory over other nations, in that they adopt our best ideals, will not be won with military might, but will be caught by example. Proverbs 11:14
- Pray for God’s favor on your nation, that it would be great as measured by the standards of the Word of God and His character. Pray that God would enlarge the greatness of your country so that others may learn of Him and His grace and love. Job 12:23-25
- Pray that your nation will not just be thought of as a “Christian” nation because of its history, but that grace would be its current character. Pray that the population of true believers would continue to increase and that as it increases the character of the country would change because of their influence. Psalm 33:12
- Pray for the allies of your country. Pray that the political and military allies will support your country when “push comes to shove” in the affairs of nations. Jeremiah 18:7-10
- Pray that evil influences will be thwarted. Pray that the influence of wicked, corrupt, or self-serving men and women will be replaced by the influence of those who are focused on the needs of others and not on their own potential gain. Ephesians 6:12
- Pray for protection from natural disasters. The Lord sometimes allows natural disasters as a means of getting a people’s attention. Pray that such extreme measures would not be necessary, but that the people of the nation – and especially God’s people in the nation – would humble themselves voluntarily under the hand of God. If natural disasters occur, pray that government and other responses would be timely and helpful. Isaiah 29:6; Matthew 24:7
- Pray for protection from aggression by other countries. Pray also for security in the nation, specifically that the borders would be secure and that those bent on evil would not be able to enter the country. Jeremiah 4:9-10
- Pray for the poor of the nation. God has a soft spot for the poor and afflicted, and our hearts should be the same. Pray the churches of the nation will stand in the gap for the poor and that the government would provide as necessary to protect life. Leviticus 25:35; Ezekiel 22:30
- Pray for revival to sweep the country, that hearts all over the country would be turned to worship the Lord, the God of heaven and earth. Psalm 85
- Pray for safety for the military in both training and live action situations. Military men and women make multiple sacrifices for the sake of protecting the country, which means protecting you and your family. Praying for their safety is one of the most important things you can do for them. Psalm 41:1-2
- Pray for the families of the military. The families of military men and women endure tremendous hardship at times. Pray that God will protect them when separated and strengthen their commitment and bond of love when together. Colossians 3:12-14
- Pray for the emotional and mental health of military men and women and their families. As already stated, the stress of military life can be hard on families, but it can be just as hard – or harder – on the military member who lives through difficult missions. Pray that mental and emotional healing will be able to be achieved by those who are affected. Philippians 4:7-9
- Pray for the military families who have made the ultimate sacrifice by losing a son or daughter, a husband or wife, a father or mother in battle. Pray for their hearts to be healed from their grief, by the One who makes all things possible. Psalm 31:9-10, 14-16
This could be point #21, but I’m only doing 20! Even so, in your prayers for your country be sure to thank God if you live in a country where you are free to exercise your faith in relative peace, without fear of attack, prison, or losing your life.