This year has brought us one of the most divisive elective cycles in recent memory. Many people that I speak to, regardless of political affiliation, are not excited about the choices they have for President. Both candidates have characteristics that could be defined as “unfit,” whether it is in temperament, decision making, morality, unpredictability, criminal behavior, experience, judgment, health, or political vision. It is in this season that we need to pray for our country more than we do for our political parties. We are a nation off-course and the choice of our leader will make irrevocable changes to the intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and moral direction we take as Americans.
Therefore, I would like to invite you to pray with me for our country. Over the next 7 days, I will be making a new post each day. Each post will include a link to a reading from the Psalms and a brief instruction on how to use this reading as a guide for prayer. Let us put aside our desire to see a specific person win the election and have the courage to pray boldly for God to place in office the man or woman who will lead us to be the country that God desires (and designed) us to be.
Will you please pray with me?
Read Psalm 38
Identify what God is saying about Himself in this passage. Boil it down into a one or two-word summary (e.g., God is ____ ) and confess that truth back to God, asking Him to reveal Himself in this way through your day and this election cycle.
This may be a particularly difficult chapter to read and pray, especially in the context of the election and the sins of our nation. Please take a moment to ask the Holy Spirit to give you ears that can hear His voice and to soften your heart to what needs to be prayed. If you have never prayed for your nation before, please read Nehemiah 1:5-11. This should provide an example of what needs to be done today. Also, if you need help understanding the difference between iniquity, trespasses, and sins, please read my previous post Iniquity, Trespasses, and Sin.
v. 1-2 Consider how far we have strayed from the LORD as a nation. What grieves you? What feels like arrows have sunk into you when you consider it? Name these things one by one. Ask the LORD to not rebuke us in anger nor discipline us in wrath for these things.
v.3-4 Confess how far we have missed the mark as a country and as a culture. Admit that we deserve God’s judgment for these things and how we are wasting away. Specify how the health in the bones of this nation is depleted because of our sin.
Confess the condition of our hearts (our iniquities) and how they weigh us down like a heavy burden that is too heavy for us.
v. 5-8 Contemplate how, because they have remained untreated, our nation’s sins have affected us. How infected have our wounds become? Confess the foolishness of America and the anguish it brings to your heart. Allow God to hear your mourning.
v. 9-14 Lay out your longings before God. Come boldly before His throne of grace and ask the desire of your heart for our nation. Outline how our sins have not only hurt us domestically but also internationally. How now our “friends and companions stand aloof…and my nearest kin far off.” How “those who seek my life lay their snares; those who seek my hurt speak of ruin and meditate treachery all day long.” And how our response is “like a deaf man; I do not hear, like a mute man who does not open his mouth. I have become like a man who does not hear and in whose mouth are no rebukes.”
v .15-17 Confess that we are waiting for the LORD. How we know that only the LORD is our answer! Ask Him to hold us up when our foot slips on the path of recovery and that our enemies will not mock us, which may cause discouragement and relapse. Rather, may they see God working through our country, through our leaders, and through our people so that we may not fall, even in the midst of our national pain.
v.18-22 Confess the condition of our hearts as a people. Ask for forgiveness for our sins. Ask God to protect us, despite how numerous our foes may be and how others may render us evil because we follow after good.
Ask God to not forsake us but to redeem us! Ask Him to give us the fulfillment of His promises. To come quickly to help us. To keep us from destroying ourselves and losing the precious freedoms with which He has blessed us. To be our LORD and our salvation!