12 Prayers for the American Church
Today is a historic day, a sobering day but this is the day the Lord has made so let us rejoice and be glad in it! For many of us it feels like our nation is hanging in the balance. Never in history have two presidential candidates had lower approval ratings than the two we have before us today. I understand the fears, disillusionment, and the anger many of us feel. I know the differences seem irreconcilable and the future looks bleak that is why I have chosen to lead this day of prayer for the American church. As the day unfolds, I want our eyes to be fixed on Jesus, so when others look to us, they will see a people of hope, light, peace and purpose. A people not shaken by what we see around us, a people steadied and trusting him. My hope is as our hearts reflect on these truths from the word and we bring our request to God the peace which passes all understanding will guard our hearts and minds no matter what the day holds.
"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." -Phillippians 4:4-7
Let's begin our day by praying the words the Lord has taught us to pray:
“Father, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread,
and forgive us our sins,
for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And lead us not into temptation.” Amen. (Luke 11:3-4)
“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish. Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, who keeps faith forever; who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets the prisoners free; the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. The Lord watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin. The Lord will reign forever, your God, O Zion, to all generations. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 146:3–10, ESV)
We confess we have put our trust in our government instead of you. We have looked to it for security and hope instead of Christ. You have witnessed leaders, kings, emperors and presidents rise and fall and never has it hindered your plans for you people. Oh God, Why would we look to our government to save when you made everything, when you execute justice for the oppressed, feed the hungry, set the prisoner free, open the eyes of the blind, and watch over the alien, widow and the orphan. Please forgive us for our idolatry, shift our hearts and hopes to you and away from our president and government.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:3-7)
Yes! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Why would we worry today when we have been born into a living hope through Jesus? We are being given and inheritance which can not be taken away. Father help your Church to see the great purpose and beauty of the refining fires of trial. I pray we would not love our comfort so much that we would miss all the precious gifts you have for us through the testing of our faith. We pray no matter the outcome of this election you will hear your people praising you because we know the good you will accomplish.
Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience. (Romans 13:1-8)
This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor. (Romans
We know even though we are not to look to our government as a savior we are still to respect those in authority over us, even those with whom we disagree, even those who harm us. I pray that today and in the days and years to come we in the church will submit to our leaders in reverence for Christ, I pray we will do this without groaning and complaining, and we will act honorable so we can say we had a clear conscience. Help us to we unifiers after this election is over rather than dividers.
For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy places by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. So Jesus also suffered outside the gate to sanctify the people through his own blood. Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Jesus, Oh this image of you suffering outside the gate of the city for us is so beautiful and yet painful to read. We want to be the people in this passage who get up and go to you outside and bear the reproach you endured, but honestly, we are afraid. Our country has offered us many comforts and securities, but we don't want to look to our government any longer because here we have no lasting city. We want to seek the city that is to come. Would you make us brave so we will stand with you in suffering and do it while continually offering you praise? Help us look to the lasting city, so we will be generous in all we have and do good to others because it is pleasing to you.
Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary, bless, for to this you were called, that you may obtain a blessing. -1 Peter 3:8-9
I pray we will be peace pursuers rather than Peacebreakers. In this day and age with social media, it is so easy to repay evil with evil and hide behind a computer screen. I pray we would not vilify whichever side we disagree with more. I pray we will speak the truth and not spread rumors we can not prove. I ask you to help us seek unity with our family and friends no matter the outcome of the election. I pray we would work together to bless one another as we find solutions to the problems our country faces. I pray that above all those outside the church will look at us and see humility instead of pride. God humble us.
Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. -1 Peter 3:13-17
How desperately I want to be a hope spreader. I pray our eyes would be fixed on Jesus so we would be full of hope. I am afraid so often those who don't know Jesus do not look at the church for hope. I pray that in the coming days, months and years if hope is low in our country they will find it overflowing in the church. I pray they would look at us like we are crazy and yet their souls will long to obtain what we have. I pray we will be ready to offer them the free and life-changing gift of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray even today you might give us this opportunity to share the hope we have with someone who is perishing.
I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of being content of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)
" I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to me, says the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:18)
Father, You know we are not naturally a people of contentment. Our lack of fulfillment drives so much of our life, materialism, relationships, addictions can all be fueled by a lack of contentment. I pray God you will make your church a people of contentedness. A people who does not look to the stock market or their dress size to determine their worth and purpose. I pray we would look to you to decide who we are, a beloved son and daughter and it would not change despite our constantly changing circumstances.
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. Jeremiah 29:7
I pray no matter what happens in the election today the church would be praying for the welfare of this country. We pray for you to bless this nation. We ask you to protect our President and future President and we pray he/she would come to know you if they do not already. We ask for you to give guidance to those in positons of political authority on a local, state and federal level. We pray you would watch over our military and give our leaders guidance as we defend us against our enemies and seek peace in the world. We ask your hand to be in our court's systems and we trust you as new Supreme Court Justices are named in the coming years. We pray for prosperity in our land so we can give generously to those in need. We do not want our country to fail, we want it to thrive, and I pray the church will do all in its power to seek its welfare.
“Thus says the Lord: “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart turns away from the Lord. He is like a shrub in the desert, and shall not see any good come. He shall dwell in the parched places of the wilderness, in an uninhabited salt land. “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.”” (Jeremiah 17:5–8, ESV)
“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55:1)
May we be a people who trust in you. We know no matter the outcome of this election there will be difficult times for our country ahead. I pray we would plant ourselves in the truth of the word so when the drought comes we continue to bear fruit. I Pray we will we will not turn our hearts away from the Lord. My hope is that the church will be a place others will look for sustenance when the hard times come just as Josephs brothers came to him during the famine. May we be that kind of fruit-bearing people who attract the hungry and thirsty.
“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. (John 14:25)
Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, bringing holiness to completion in the fear of God.(2 Corinthians 7:1)
Holy Spirit, Thank you for being the helper who never leaves us. You did not leave us as orphans; we are not alone. I pray we would lean into you as we fight for our holiness. This country needs our holiness not so we can boast about it, but so we can boast in you. They need us to look different, act different, live different to show there is a better way to live. A way that leads to life and not death, a way that leads to joy. I pray through our humility and holiness they will see you are the way the truth and the life.
I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me, but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here. (John 14:30)
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. (John 15:12)
I pray no matter what is to come we will remember this truth, the ruler of this world has no claim on you. You freely went to the cross so the world would know you love the Father. You did it so we would know you love us. I pray the world would see your church rise with you and be willing to sacrifice to assure they know the love you and the Father have for them. Thank you for all you have done in my heart and the church today I pray these things will come to fruition so you receive more glory and your church more joy.
Thank you for giving your day to lifting up the American Church. Now let's sit back and watch God work to make something beautiful!
Photo's compliments of Pexel.com, @heididunc, @littlebrownnest, @fumnak, @channelph, @anna_libby, @kristywicks,
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