I woke up this morning with President Trump and our nation on my mind. Some people are ecstatic today and hopeful for the future. Others are sad, discouraged and fearful for what the future holds.
I watched part of the Inauguration ceremony with my heart and shoulders squeezed tight.I don’t know what the future holds, but I do know Who holds the future.
And I will look to Him, no matter what the next four years bring.
Now, more than ever, pray for your neighbors, your community, and your leaders at every level.
*For great encouragement read this post from Amy Lively at How to Love Your Neighbor, “There’s No Such Thing as a Christian Nation.”
For the next 100 days, I will be posting short prayer prompts for our nation and leaders on my Facebook page. Will you join me there?
Let’s join together and pray for our leaders and our neighbors.
4 Things to Pray for our Nation and Leaders
1. Look out for those with the least.
“‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” Matthew 25:37b-40
God, you’ve commanded us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We confess that we often fall short of that command. Help us see the needs around us and reach out in the strength of Your love. When we are tempted to walk past a person in need, remind us that as we love others, we show them who You are.
I pray that our nation’s leaders at all levels will look out for those who have the least – power, position, resources, and knowledge. May our laws help them, not harm them. May our leaders make laws that will help those in our society who are struggling to meet their needs. May our leaders find ways to equip them with skills and resources needed to provide for their families. Help us each see how we can be part of the solution and look out for those who have the least in our communities, remembering that as we serve each one, we are serving You.
2. Disagree without dishonoring each other.
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10
God, tensions are high and we are a people divided. We seek to love You and love each other. We want to fight evil, yet sometimes we end up fighting each other instead. Help us cling to what is good and be devoted to each other and honor each other, even when we disagree. Show us how we can disagree, yet still honor Your holy name, and show respect for the other person. When our emotions are raging, help us to see each other as Your creation, made in Your holy image. Help us to respectfully disagree, valuing each other more than we value being right.
3. Love of God’s Word.
Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long. Your commands are always with me and make me wiser than my enemies. Psalm 119:97-98
God, there is only one perfect law, and it is Yours. All of our attempts at human order and law are weak shadows of the rule You will one day bring to earth. We are flawed and sinful people who need you desperately. Help us fall in love with Your Word and to think about it every day. Teach us, and help us to understand the Words You have given us. Instill a desire for Your Word in our nation’s leaders. May Your Words not be something that is quoted for power, position or manipulation, but something that guides lives in personal ways. May our leaders hear Your Word, grant them understanding, and may they be transformed by the power of Your Spirit.
4. Speak truth in love.
Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out. Colossians 4:6 (MSG)
God, over the past couple years, conversations in our country between family members, friends, neighbors, and leaders have turned into a minefield for arguments. People who love each other have turned their backs on each other, and words have become weapons. Forgive us for how we have wounded each other with our words. Show us how to be gracious in our speech and bring out the best in each other in our conversations, even when the topic is tricky. Help us speak truth in love, and be mature and wise. Guide our leaders in their conversations with each other and how they model speech to the public. May they be examples of grace and kindness, firm when needed, but not demeaning or putting people down. Help us hold each other accountable for kind words that honor You.
**Looking for more practical ways to pray for your community and nation? Please check out Pray A to Z: A Practical Guide to Pray for Your Community, a new book filled with verses, prompts and prayers from Abuse to Zero Prejudice.