My Prayer For America
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Perhaps you don’t see the similarities. Perhaps you don’t see the prevalence of racial tension, political and professional corruption, or rampant selfishness and hardheartedness. Or perhaps things like abortion, proliferation of the LGBT agenda, and a general turning away from God don’t bother you. Perhaps you don’t think of America when you read verse 32: “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.” (Emphasis added) If not, this post will likely ring hollow.
But perhaps, like me, you are grieved. Perhaps, like me, you fear that God will bring (or has already begun bringing) his wrath upon America. Perhaps, like me, you see America when you read that “God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.” (Romans 1:28) Perhaps, like me, you desperately hope that America will repent, reverse course, and return to the values that made us a great nation to begin with. If so, I urge you to join me in fervent prayer.
I give the following as an example, not with the idea that this is what you should pray, but because it is the cry of my heart. If it is yours, please echo it. Scripture tells us that “the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16) Jesus told his disciples “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” and “my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” (John 14:14, 16:23, emphasis added) With belief that these requests are “in [his] name”—and submitting to his will if not—will you join me in offering the following supplication to God?
Recognizing that we have absolutely no standing to petition for Your mercy, particularly in light of the way we as a nation have turned away from You, we beg for mercy nonetheless. As Abraham stood over Sodom and pleaded with You to spare the city if as few as ten righteous persons could be found in it, we plead on behalf of the righteous people in our nation. Would You relent from bringing Your wrath upon us? Would You not give us over and withdraw from us, but would You, as the old hymn states, “mend [our] ev’ry flaw, confirm [our] soul in self-control, [our] liberty in law” and would You “[our] gold refine, till all success be nobleness, and ev’ry gain divine!” Would You please give us one more chance?
Would You continue to reveal Yourself to us? Convict us of sin. Turn our hearts toward repentance. Do not merely refine our laws or political systems; do not change our clothes, but change our hearts. Would You raise up godly men and women who will live out the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ in every aspect of their lives? Would You give us one more chance and enable us by the power of the Holy Spirit to make the most of that chance, lest we find ourselves uttering this request again?
Particularly as we engage in political elections, we recognize that no President, no Congress, no rules or laws of men can change the heart of man. But we know that “the authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1) We know that godly men and women in positions of influence can be agents of change. Would You, therefore, call and raise up such men and women, inspiring them to run for office—local, state, and federal? Would You imbue those in office and those running for office with biblical values, integrity, humility, and the courage of their convictions? Would You “make their paths straight” (Proverbs 11:5) as they seek to serve You?
Would You give people, particularly Christians, a yearning for truth, for justice, for righteousness? Would you impress upon them the importance of biblical values? Would You inspire them to strive to restore those American ideals that are true, just, and righteous and to repair and replace those that aren’t? Would You give people, particularly Christians, wisdom and discernment to sort through lies and deception, bluster and rhetoric, so they can determine which candidates are worthy of their support? Would You give them diligence to vote, to advocate, and to engage their friends and families, lovingly and graciously, on behalf of those candidates and the values they uphold?
In II Chronicles 7:14, we read that “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” Your Word is replete with examples of Your unwarranted mercy and boundless grace. Would You call your people—Would You call me!—to humility, prayer, pursuit of you, and repentance, and would You hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our nation? At times, it seems it is too late. At times, it seems there is no way forward. At times, we feel like giving up. Revive us with endurance, an iron will, the fortitude to continue. Remind us that “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) Reveal Your power to do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20) not just in our lives, but in our elections, our government, and our country at large.
Almighty God, would You please continue to bless the United States of America? Would You restore her, in the words of President Reagan, to “a shining city upon a hill,” that provides a beacon of freedom to the world? Would that beacon not be merely political freedom, but spiritual freedom? Would You use this nation as wellspring for the gospel, use its freedom as a wide, unchecked channel through which the good news of Jesus Christ can reach the world? And would You use me as You see fit in this process?