What will help heal your country? Everyone has an opinion today on what their country needs–especially when division occurs or election time rolls around. There are many things you can do to help, but none are more important than the one I’ll tell you about today. If you really love your country, here is the most important thing you can do to help heal it:
PRAY for God to Heal
1. Pray for Relationship
Pray for your own relationship with God. What is it based on? Sacrifice? Good deeds? When do you approach God in prayer? In crisis, or every day? An intimate, praying relationship with God is based on one thing: God’s grace gift: Jesus’ death on the cross–the payment for our own sin–and His resurrection (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a gift, but until we admit we are helpless without Him and until we receive that payment for our own sinful lives, willing to turn around and go in a new direction toward Him, we have no relationship–and no praying grounds (“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,” John 1:12, NIV; “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened,” Psalm 66:18, NIV).
If you want to help your country heal, you need to be on praying ground–and that’s based on relationship–made possible through repentance and redemption. In his book, My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said, “God does not hear us because we pray earnestly–He hears us solely on the basis of redemption.” He added, “Prayer is not simply getting things from God–that is only the most elementary kind of prayer. Prayer is coming into perfect fellowship and oneness with God.”¹
We cannot please a holy God, the perfect Creator of the Universe, by trying to earn our way to heaven. Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me,” (John 14:6). He wants none to perish, and His love is open to all who will accept the relationship He offers.
2. Pray for Renewal
For those of us who call ourselves “Christ-ones” or followers of Jesus, we can pray for a renewal of our relationship. The familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” “Wicked” sounds rather…wicked, don’t you think? How could that apply to those who are called by His name? His followers?
Because God doesn’t classify “sin.” It’s all “wicked” to Him. Those words–and God’s promises–still apply today, just as they did centuries ago in Solomon’s time. It’s easy for any of us to allow self-interests, pride, or misplaced priorities to pull as away from the God who wants us to be light and salt–and healing to our world. If our hearts are blinded by prejudice, immorality, or dishonesty, we can hinder God’s work. If we are more concerned with our own rights than our right relationship with Jesus and our fellowman, we cannot contribute to our country’s healing. Humility–humbling ourselves–is the opposite of selfish pride. And the Bible is clear that a prideful country (and its inhabitants) will fall.
Twisting God’s Word to suit our own agendas and ignoring God’s moral standards will only end in chaos and deceit. Our real enemies are not those who plot and terrorize to destroy our country or us. Satan is the one who is behind every wrong thinking pattern, every false teaching, and all “wicked” behavior. He is the one out to destroy every family and every leader–especially those who confess to be Christ followers. Pray for a renewal of your own relationship with Jesus. Seek His face and ask Him to show you anything in your heart that has replaced Him or your love for Him–anything that needs changing or rearranging.
What follows repentance and renewal? God says He will forgive and heal our land–our country.
3. Pray for Return To God
The principle of Revelation 3:4-5 (NLT) is the same for a country, a church, or even a marriage: “You don’t love me or each other as you did at first! Look how far you have fallen! Turn back to me and do the works you did at first. If you don’t repent, I will come and remove your lampstand from its place.”
A Personal Example
Fifteen years into our storybook marriage my husband and I realized we had “left our first love.” We could have labeled our relationship an “unconscious marriage.” We had stopped being intentional about the things that really mattered. Our communication skills needed work, and so did we. God unpleasantly “woke us up,” and with help we applied the principles of those verses in Revelation so our own marriage relationship could heal. We learned how to talk to each other and we turned around (repented) and charted a new direction with our love and with the Lover of our souls. We started over! If we had refused to do that, we would probably never have experienced the beautiful healing God gave to us. And God might have chosen to “remove our lampstand” or our ability to let our marriage and love shine for others as a testimony of His faithfulness. The healing “took,” and we “fell in love” all over again. And as we approach fifty years of marriage, we’re still “growing” in love. Do we still work at our marriage? Yes, we’re human! And we always will keep working at it, but God keeps strengthening our relationship as we do–with Him, and with each other. God’s grace is such a beautiful gift if we will allow Him to do His work in us and through us.
Return to Godly Principles and Leadership
In the same way as a marriage, pray for a return of your country to the godly principles God gave to us in His Word. The Bible is still the best-selling book for all time. Why? Because it still holds the food that feeds empty lives, and it still teaches the truth that destroys ugly lies. It provides healing for broken hearts, and it offers life to those who are dying without hope. The Bible holds not just the key to heaven, but the key to victorious living on earth: peace in the midst of chaos, joy in the midst of pain, and love in the midst of hate.
Pray for God to raise up godly leaders in your country, and to wake up those who are unconsciously straying from godliness. Pray for God to turn the hearts of all those in authority back to Himself. Pray for them to lead their country by loving godly example, based on biblical values and principles. Pray for godly counselors to surround the head lawmakers and leaders of your nation. Pray for His protection over those leaders and their families, that they will seek the truth that can set nations free. Pray for godly wisdom to influence every decision. Pray for your nation to return to God. Pray for revival.
History has proved repeatedly what happens to the nation who ignores and shuts out the God who created them and has loved them since the beginning of time. Pray that God will remove the blinders from the eyes of those who cannot see the truth, and for an openness and hunger to hear the solutions that can truly heal a country and its people (“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” Psalm 33:12, NIV). Pray for Truth to be revealed. God–and His truth–never change.
Pray for relationship, renewal, return, and true revival. Pray for fathers who have left their first love for Jesus to take their place in leading their families back to God. Pray for families to humble themselves and reconnect with God. Pray for marriages to return to their first love. Pray for children to respect and honor parents, and for parents to love their children. Strong families and strong marriages based on God’s Word make a strong nation.
What Can You Do?
What can you do? Be faithful in your commitment to Jesus every day in whatever way He asks you. But most of all, pray. Pray for healing. Pray for yourself. Pray for others. Pray for your country. While others may regard prayer as unimportant or as a last resort, God considers it as the most important. Pray as if your life and your country’s healing depend on it.
Because it does.
¹Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, Edited by James Reimann (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House), 1992.
In another blog, I shared a simple prayer we can pray for our country.