Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States.
Political division is at an all time high. The religious right slings moral statements with spit filled anger and judgement. The liberal left touts tolerance with the vitriolic force of a supercharged steamroller, and now we’re called to pray. How should we pray? Here are 5 tips to guide your prayer today.
- Acknowledge the sovereign control of God over all things. Daniel 2:21 reminds us that God changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.
- Confess not only your personal sin (1 John 4:9), but also confess the sin of our nation (Daniel 9:20). Begin by confessing the pride of self dependency. Sexual sins are not the primary problem with America. Greed is not the primary problem with America. The root of all our sin is a failure to love the Lord our God and have no other gods before him. Confess the sin of putting our self interest before God. Confess the sin of ignoring God in the midst of our daily life. Confess the sin of searching for acceptance, approval, worth, and significance outside of the gospel of Jesus.
- Thank him for incredible amount of good graces he has showered on our country. We have food. We have water. We have healthcare. We have the ability gather whenever we want to worship him without the persecution of the government. We have the good news of Jesus! Thank him.
- Recount the great works of God in scripture and throughout history. Beg God to send revival to our land that sets captives free, brings food and water to the poor, cares for the orphans and widows, and spreads loving kindness into our cities.
- Ask God to show you the way forward. Don’t pin up your prayer like a to-do list for God on some heavenly pinterest board. Put hands and feet to your prayers. Rick Warren famously said, “For too long the church has been the mouth of God, it’s time we become the hands and feet.” DO SOMETHING to push back the darkness and brokenness in our world.
- Worship him. Sing to him. Let music carry your soul far from your worries and fears so you can cling to his amazing grace that saved a wretch like you and me.
Father, you are the King. You are in control. Help me remember that though I am prone to forget. Forgive me of my pride and self reliance. Make me a man of faith who depends on you for every turn and move. Thank you for the beautiful nation you have given me. Help me to be a source of peace and not division. Help me to be a good news messenger and not a hate filled messenger. You have carried, and are carrying, your people through far worse situations. I ask that the gospel of Jesus would drop on our nation like an explosion of love. Soften my heart toward those who seek to tear me down. Show me where to go. Show me how to spend my money. Show me how where to spend my time so that Jesus will be glorified in my life. My chains are gone, I’ve been set free…