The United States recognizes the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of every May. The National Day of Prayer is an annual time “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” As our nation emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, reels from the leaked SCOTUS draft, international conflict looms, and divisions seem to only grow deeper, today is a great opportunity for Christians to go to the only true God in prayer on behalf of our nation. The Triune God of the Bible graciously invites us to come to him (Matt. 11:28) and urges us to intercede for all people, including our leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-2).
Below is a sample prayer for individuals, families, and churches to use as a guide:
Heavenly Father, we thank you for the kindness and good gifts that you have bestowed upon us. You have adopted those of us in Christ as sons and daughters and have made us heirs in your kingdom. Despite our faltering words and fickle hearts, you hear our prayers and care deeply for us. In your divine providence and graciousness, you have allowed us to live in this great nation, where we are able to worship you freely.
We confess our utter dependence and reliance on you. Though we often think and act in self-reliance, we can do nothing apart from you. We repent of the selfish spirit and pride that so often dominate our hearts and words. We lament the ways that we, as your Church, have allowed divisiveness and distrust to eclipse our love for you and for our neighbor. We ask forgiveness for our unkind words and hurtful thoughts and pray that you would allow us, through our deep love for one another, to be salt and light in our nation.
Lord, you are El Elyon, the Most High God. You are exalted above all earthly rulers and are the ultimate authority. In your great wisdom, you have given us government and rulers and instructed us to respect and pray for them. Your Word says that when we ask for wisdom, you are faithful to provide it. We lift up to you President Biden, Vice President Harris, our congressmen and congresswomen, the Supreme Court justices, cabinet officials, military leaders, governors, mayors, and local officials. Father, would your Spirit give them supernatural wisdom, guide them to do your will, and ultimately use them to bring you glory and seek the flourishing of every individual.
You are El Roi, the God who sees. You see, hear, and deeply know the pain of your children. We lament the brokenness of our world and how greed, violence, and evil are used against the vulnerable. We pray against this evil in our nation and ask you to act mightily on behalf of those suffering. To that end, we pray for an end to the scourge of abortion and that our nation would adopt a holistic culture of life. Even this week as we see hopeful glimpses of a life-affirming decision from the Supreme Court, we pray boldly that their majority will hold and that the precedents set in Roe and Casey will be overturned in the coming weeks. Father, we grieve this stain on our nation and pray that you would not only make abortion illegal in our land but also make it unthinkable and unnecessary. Use us to support the women and preborn children around us and help them choose life.
Father, we also pray for the vulnerable children in our foster care and adoption systems and that you would raise up families in our churches to provide loving homes and care for these precious image-bearers. We pray that you would provide means to flourish to those trapped in the cycles of poverty and that you would work against those who prey on and take advantage of their plight. We pray for those seeking refuge at our borders and that they would be met with compassion and find safety. And we ask that you would give our leaders wisdom in how to handle a complex situation. We pray for those who are incarcerated. Redeem their hearts and pave the way for a second chance.
Gracious Father, in your goodness, you have given us an invitation to be part of your work. I pray that the Church in America would boldly step into that invitation and be the salt and light that is needed in our nation. Lord, raise up steadfast pastors and ministry leaders, and give us strong churches and families to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our communities, speaking truth and showing grace. We pray that you would use our churches mightily to bring people to repentance and saving faith in Jesus. Give us renewed love for you and for our neighbors, and help us faithfully live for you amidst an ever-changing culture.
We are grateful for the privilege of living in the United States, however imperfect, and ask that you bless, protect, and guide us. Lord, we know that regardless of what happens in our nation, you are ultimately in control. Forgive us for putting any of our hope in political parties or leaders, and help us to unashamedly put our trust in you and live in light of the truth that our ultimate citizenship lies in your kingdom. Help us to walk, not in a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and self-control as we share the hope of Christ with the world.
In Jesus’ name,