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 stay his judgment and 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 40
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.
Prayer is not always about requests or confession. It often incorporates praise for either what God has done or for what God will do. Today we turn from focusing on our woes as an electorate to do a little preemptive praising. Let us turn towards God today to praise Him for already accomplishing His sovereign purposes on November 8th.
v. 1-3 Praise God the He gave you the ability to wait patiently for Him to act during this election.
Praise Him for turning towards our country and hearing our cry.
Praise Him for lifting us “out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire” and for putting our feet on a rock, for giving us a firm place to stand. Praise Him that this firm place does not reside in anything temporary, such as a man, woman, or political party. Rather, our rock is Christ alone.
Praise God for putting “a new song in our mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” Ask that many (both domestically and abroad) will see and fear the LORD and put their trust in Him as well.
v. 4-5 Praise the LORD for the trust that He has given you as you turned your heart towards His desires and not your own in this election. Thank Him for teaching you to not look towards the proud or those who turn aside to false gods/lies.
Enumerate the wonders God has done during this election. Praise Him for accomplishing the things He planned for us. Acknowledge God’s supremacy over man in both deed and character. Confess that none can compare with God and that His works are too many to declare.
v. 6-8 Praise God that He has opened your ears without requiring anything additional from you. He is a transforming God! Thank Him for orienting you towards Himself as you have poured out your heart for the country towards Him.
In response to His work in your lif offer to do whatever He asks of you. Declare your desire to do His will because His law is within your heart.
v. 9-10 Ask Him to fill you with boldness so that, like Jeremiah, you cannot contain the message of His saving acts. Praise Him for empowering you during this election to make His name known. Praise Him that you did not seal your lips or hide God’s righteousness in your heart. Praise Him that although it may be against your nature, He filled your with power so that you do not conceal God’s love and faithfulness from your friends, family, city, state, nation, or world.
v. 11-15 Ask God to continue to be merciful to us as a country and for His love and faithfulness to always protect us. Confess that our nation continues to sin so much that we cannot see and our heart fails because of the weight of the sin. Ask God to save us and to come quickly to help us.
Ask Him to put to shame and confusion all who want to destroy us and to ruin/turn back in disgrace all of our enemies. Praise Him for His faithfulness! “Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)
v.16-17 Praise God that because He is faithful He does not abandon anyone who seeks Him. Rejoice and be glad in the great work and power of God. “May those who long for [God’s] saving help always say, ‘The LORD is great!’ ”
Confess how infinitesimal you are as a person as well as how small we are as a nation. Confess our needs and our spiritual and moral poverty before God. But praise Him for being our help and our deliverer.
“You are my God, do not delay.”
In Jesus’ name, Amen.