Prayers for our nation

by  John Holbrook Jr.
A Biblical View, posted February 15, 2017

Americans are deeply divided over a myriad of issues arising in every important area of our nation’s life: border security, commerce, conservation, constitutional law, education, energy, foreign policy, free expression, governance, illegal immigration, infrastructure, intelligence, justice, law enforcement (internal), liberty preservation, medicine, military action (external), money, morality, religion, taxation, welfare, and many, many others. The Lord Jesus warned, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand.”[1] Moreover, this division has engendered stunning displays of anger, hatred, incivility, slander, and threat of physical harm against some public figures and their supporters – even by some people who regard themselves as members of the affluent, educated, informed, and sophisticated elite. It is time for Christians to humble themselves before God, pray to God, seek God’s face, and turn away from our wicked ways if we hope to see this situation change. Here are a few prayers to start with:

 As we begin our prayers, we pray:

O Lord, hear our prayers, not according to the poverty of our asking, but according to the richness of your grace, so that our lives together in this nation may conform to those desires which accord with your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[2]

 For our sins and relief from them, we pray:

 Almighty and most merciful Father; we have erred, and strayed from your ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against your holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in us. But you, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders. Spare those, O God, who confess their faults. Restore those who are penitent according to your promises that were declared to mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of your holy Name. Amen.[3]

For our nation in general, we pray:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for our country, our Constitution, and our leaders. We pray for our President and for every elected and appointed official who serves with him. We pray that you will build a spiritual wall of protection around the marriage and family of every national, state, and local official. We pray that you will give them the wisdom and the courage to uphold our Constitution which established a republic based on your absolute laws, not a democracy based on the changing whims of man’s reasoning. We pray that you will rebuke Satan for the deception of his lie that we can be “as gods” in deciding for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. O Lord, may our leaders cast down every law, policy, and personal example which weakens marriages, families, or your moral standards. We pray that our leaders will understand and follow the principles of your Word. May they realize that all authority comes from you, not the voters, and that one day they will stand before you to give an account of the power you gave to them. We base this prayer on the promise of your Word, that if we will humble ourselves, pray, seek your face, and turn from our wicked ways, then you will hear from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.[4] In the name and through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray. Amen. [5]

Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; we humbly beseech you that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of your favor and glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in your Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may show forth your praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in you to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[6]

For our nation’s executives, we pray:

O Lord, our governor, whose glory is in all the world, we commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President, Vice-president, and all others in authority, wisdom and strength to know and do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in fear of you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.[7]

For our nation’s legislators, we pray:

O God, the fountain of wisdom, whose will is good and gracious, and whose law is truth: we beseech you so to guide and bless our Senators and Representatives in Congress assembled, that they may enact such laws as shall please you, to the glory of your Name and the welfare of this people; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[8]

For our nation’s justices, we pray:

Almighty God, who sits on the throne of heaven judging right; we humbly beseech you to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give to them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of you alone; through Him who shall come to be our Judge, your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.[9]

For our nation’s armed forces, we pray:

O Lord God of Hosts, stretch forth…your almighty arm to strengthen and protect the soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coastguardsmen of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of peace keep them safe from all evil; endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[10]

For our nation’s police, firefighters, and emergency medical service personnel, we pray:

O Lord God, also lay your hand of protection on all the men and women in our communities who put themselves at risk daily to safeguard us from assault, disorder, fire, flood, inclement weather, injury, medical emergency, and theft as we go about our normal lives. Keep us ever mindful of their continuous, dangerous, faithful, and honorable service to us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, we pray. Amen.

Finally, in closing, we pray:

Almighty God, who has promised to hear the petitions of those who ask in your Son’s name: we beseech you mercifully to incline your ear to us who have now made our prayers and supplications to you; and grant that those things which we have faithfully asked according to your will, may effectually be obtained, to the relief of our necessities, and to the setting forth of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.[11]

© 2017 John Holbrook Jr.
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[1] KJV Matthew 12:25.

[2] Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr, The Complete Book of Christian Prayer, #37 – adapted by JH.

[3] A General Confession, Book of Common Prayer (1928), p. 23 – adapted by JH.

[4] 2 Chronicles 7:14.

[5] Prayer for our nation by Anonymous – adapted by JH.

[6] Prayer for Our Country, Book of Common Prayer, 1928, p. 36 – adapted by JH.

[7] Prayer for the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority, Book of Common Prayer, 1979, p. 820 – adapted by JH.

[8] Prayer for Congress, Book of Common Prayer, 1979, p. 821 – adapted by JH.

[9] Prayer for Courts of Justice, Book of Common Prayer, 1928, p. 35 – adapted by JH.

[10] Prayer for the Armed Forces, Book of Common Prayer, 1928, p. 41 – adapted by JH.

[11] Prayer for the Answering of Prayer, Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 834 – adapted by JH.

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