“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12, ESV).
My favorite painting is “The Prayer at Valley Forge” by Arnold Friberg. It portrays General George Washington on his knees in the Pennsylvania snow, seeking God on behalf of his fledgling new nation at the lowest point in the War for Independence.
The circumstances were dire. One battlefield defeat after another had stripped the Continental Army of morale and supplies. Hungry soldiers were without food, eating bark and dirt to fill their empty stomachs. Many had worn out their shoes, leaving their feet bare and bloodied as they walked across the cold, snow-covered forest floor. Thousands had died from illness. Officers even threatened to shoot deserters as a last-ditch effort to keep the men from giving up the fight.
The general knew where he needed to turn. Like George Washington, our only hope is in the Lord (Psalm 71:5). Will you join with me in praying for our nation and our state?
You have blessed this land beyond our understanding. We thank you for the good gifts we have received from your hand—liberty, prosperity, and stability.
You tell us that godliness makes a nation great, but sin is a disgrace to any people (Proverbs 14:34). Forgive our nation and our state – our churches, our families, our people – for the sins we have committed against you. We thank you that forgiveness is found in Jesus Christ. Help us delight in your commandments, and may your Word be a lamp for our feet and a light on our path.
Please give wisdom to our public officials serving in federal and state government. You have called them to be your servants for our sake (Romans 13:4). Equip them for this important work. Make them ministers of your justice who protect the sanctity of human life and the right of all people to worship you freely.
We praise your name, knowing that you alone are worthy of all glory and honor. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, amen.