Everyone has an opinion today on what will help their country heal–especially when division, disaster, or election time rolls around. There are many things you can do to help. However, the most important thing you can do to bring healing is to pray for your country:
PRAY for Your Country to Heal
1. Pray for God to Heal Your Relationship with Him
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’s 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 we want to help our country heal, we 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 form a personal relationship with 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 NIV).
He wants none to perish, and His love is open to all who will accept the relationship He offers.
2. Pray for God to Bring Renewal
For those of us who call ourselves “Christ-ones” or followers of Jesus, first we can pray for a renewal of our relationship. The familiar passage in 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV 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 who instigates revenge instead of restoration. Satan is the enemy who stirs up hatred and division. 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 a 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.”
Pray for Your Country to Return to Godly Principles and Leadership
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. Ask 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 Wisdom and Godly Counselors
Ask the Lord to provide godly counselors who will 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. Ask Him to give them wisdom to influence every decision. Pray for your nation to return to God. Pray for revival.
Ask God to Open Blind Eyes
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.
Do what God’s people–those who are called by His name–must do: pray. Pray for relationship, renewal, return, and true revival. Ask God for fairness, forgiveness, grace, and mercy to thrive. Then pray for justice, kindness, generosity, and love to permeate every decision. Ask the Lord to bring unity, understanding, wisdom, and peace to every heart.
Pray for fathers who have left their first love for Jesus to take their place in leading their families back to God. Ask God to help families humble themselves and reconnect with God. Pray for marriages to return to their first love. Also 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.
We are all alike, and we are all precious creations by God with value and worth. God created all of us in His own image. But we also are all descendants of Adam. We are all stained with sin, and we all need God’s healing. We all need Jesus.
“No one is good—except God alone” (Mark 10:18 NIV).
We Are All Broken and Need Restoration
We are all broken, and there’s only One Who can restore us. What He did, He did because of love:
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in his sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood (Romans 3:23-25 NLT)
“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him” (John 3:16-18 MSG).
Helpless But Not Hopeless
My heart breaks when I see pain, brokenness, hatred, and division. When you hurt; I hurt. When my country hurts, I grieve too. And sometimes I feel so helpless, but never hopeless.
Sin will always look for a place to find a permanent home. It can deceive, disappoint, and bring destruction. God will use many to bring change and healing. But His universal instructions to all who are called by His name–to all who bear the name of Christ: with humility and brokenness over our own sin, PRAY.
What Can You Do?
What can you do? Be faithful in your commitment to Jesus every day in whatever way He asks you. Then listen more, and seek true understanding. Watch for opportunities to love more and criticize less. Walk humbly and treat others fairly. But most of all, pray. Pray for healing, and pray for yourself. Remember to pray for others, and especially for your country. While others may regard prayer as unimportant or as a last resort, God considers it as the most important. Prayer is active, and it is godly action. Therefore, 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.
*This is a revised blog post of one I wrote several years ago. In another blog, I shared a simple prayer we can pray for our country.
It’s Your Turn
Are you willing to pray for your country? Will you set aside a time each day to pray specifically for the healing of your country? You can always write me through my contact page and fill out the basic name and address info; then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.
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