Praying for Our Nation

The pandemic and its effects would have been enough to make us seek God in prayer as we enter 2021. But 2020 was also filled with social and political unrest, the likes of which many of us have never seen. Though I don’t plan on resolving any of these disputes in this devotion, I believe two passages can help us pray for God’s intervention. The first passage is from our friend Zephaniah, whereas the second one may be more familiar.

“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, who do his just commands; seek righteousness; seek humility;” (Zephaniah 2:3)

Zephaniah tells us to seek three things: the Lord, righteousness, and humility. Before we pray this for our nation, it is best to start with ourselves (Matthew 7:1-5). Begin by coming to God in humility and confessing any sinful attitude or behavior you have had, especially if that has contributed to discord and unrighteousness. 

Next, pray for repentance and a revival so that people actually seek the Lord. Our desire isn’t for people to seek religious platitudes or mere morality, but to seek God in their lives. 

We also want to pray for our nation to seek humility and righteousness. Regardless of your social views, political leanings, or candidates of choice, there is more than enough room for all of us to grow in righteousness and humility. Pray for each individual to truly desire righteousness and not just a “win” for their side. This can only be done with Spirit-driven humility.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Paul commands us to pray for our government leaders, even if we don’t agree with their policies. Paul and the Christians of his time didn’t agree with the kings and government of their day, yet they still prayed for them. We too, then, must pray for our national leaders. Pray they would do what Zephaniah 2:3 commands: seek the Lord, seek righteousness, and seek humility.

Second, pray for them to govern with righteousness and wisdom so that we can live “a peaceful and quiet life” for God’s glory. 

Third, pray for our state and local leaders. The pandemic isn’t over yet and difficult work is still ahead. A lot of this work is at state and local levels, so pray for wisdom and humility in each case.

And last, pray for our leaders to turn to Christ and in turn, be true servants of the people.

By Philip Jones

Philip and his wife, Stacy, have been attending Immanuel since 2015. They are blessed to be raising four kids. His passion in ministry is to help others follow Jesus through teaching, preaching, and personal discipleship.

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