A prayer for our country on the National Day of Prayer

May 5, 2022

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,


Hannah Daniel

Hannah Daniel serves as the ERLC’s director of public policy, representing the policy interests of Southern Baptists to government through advocacy and education. Originally from Tennessee, she graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in economics. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., … Read More

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24