Just like you, I am heartbroken for our country. In so many ways, the image of St. John’s Church burning in Washington, DC – a historic church visited by every president since James Madison – is symbolic of the raging inferno threatening to burn the very foundations of our nation and civil society.
So what can we do? We need to pray to the Father of mercies who providentially “rules over the nations” (Psalm 22:8). Here are four items of prayer:
1. Pray that our nation turns back to God. “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9:17, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, so many of us, including many of our representatives in government, have abandoned your ways. We confess that our nation has turned its back on you, sometimes even attempting to banish you and your truth from the public square, schools, courthouses, and legislative halls. We have condoned that which your law-word prohibits, and we have condemned that which you call “good.” Please forgive us and our nation. Send revival and repentance that our people may joyfully walk with you and glorify your name.
2. Pray for peace. “And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace” (Jeremiah 29:7, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, we pray for peace in our land. We know our peace and flourishing, and the peace and flourishing of our neighbors, is tied to the peace of our city, state, and nation. May we all find unity as individuals made equal and created in your image. May those who have been saved by your grace walk in the unity we have through Christ. And may the hearts of every American beat with love for their nation and for their countrymen.
3. Pray for justice. “Defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy” (Psalm 82:3, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, we ask that our hearts not be hardened to injustice. You have called us to “rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.” Make us advocates of your justice according to your law-word, knowing that your kingdom, which is spreading through the world, will bring the peace and justice we yearn for in our hearts. May your kingdom come, and may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
4. Pray for our civil leaders and law enforcement. “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence” (1 Timothy 2:1-2, NKJV).
Heavenly Father, we pray for our civil leaders and law enforcement officials as they deal with civil unrest and threats to life and property. Please give them wisdom and prudence. We know that you have delegated them certain and limited powers to promote justice and the common good. Help them to be your ministers of justice for our good (Romans 13:4).