Forty Days of Prayer for the USA
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The temperature is high. The fires are raging. Cool heads are scarce. And I’m not talking about the summer heat.
It’s election time; a sophisticated version of Braveheart warfare. One party stands on the ridge to the right, the enemy glares at them from the left. Brace yourselves for an onslaught of angry advertisements, tacky conversations, and a season of name-calling and finger-pointing. It’s easy to get cynical.
It’s better to grow prayerful.
I’ve been looking for the Bible verse that tells me to criticize the government. I haven’t found it. But I did come across this level-headed instruction:
“First, I tell you to pray for all people, asking God for what they need and being thankful to him. Pray for rulers and for all who have authority so that we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God. This is good, and it pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to know the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4 NCV)
The Apostle Paul wants young Timothy to lead the church in a godly fashion. His first command? “pray for all people.” The flagship assignment of the church is prayer. Feed the hungry? Counsel the confused? Teach the lost? Absolutely. But first, we pray. The primary activity of a local church is intercession and worship.
Specifically, we “pray for rulers and for all who have authority….” This includes our president, vice-president, all elected and appointed officials. We ask God to use them to facilitate a haven of quiet and peace where worship can abound. We pray so that “…we can have quiet and peaceful lives full of worship and respect for God.”
Remarkable. A peaceful society depends upon the prayers of the church. If we do not have a peaceful society–where worship and respect for God can flourish–what is the solution? Better government policy? A different president? New Congress? No, the first solution is a praying church.
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray…then I will hear from heaven.” (II Chron. 7:14 NIV)
Let’s take this prayer responsibility seriously. Would you join me in Forty Days of Prayer for our nation? We will begin on September 28 and conclude on election day, November 6. To be counted among those who are praying, simply sign your name to the pledge on our website for 40 Days of Prayer for the USA.
By God’s grace, our prayers will prompt showers of blessings that will cool our heated country.
PS … Dear Pastor, Teacher or Church Leader,
As our nation enters an election season, many people look to the church for direction. Some people are stressed by the decision, others are anxious about the future, some may be contentious and opinionated. What is a church leader to do? Here is an idea. I presented this message to our congregation last month. It is a call to trust the sovereignty of God during the electoral process. We Christians view elections through the lens of faith- the Occupant of the throne matters more than the occupant of the Oval Office, right? The lesson also calls people to pray for our country for the 40 days leading up to the election.
Feel free to download and use this message and the outline however you see fit.