PRAYING FOR A GENERATION
Our world faces uncertainty and unrest. Our nation, the United States of America, appears to be on the brink of a tumultuous transition. As Christians, how should we think, act, and pray? Below are several items for you to consider praying.
1) Pray for presently elected and appointed officials, and also future candidates running for office (Psalm 33:10-19; Proverbs 21:1; Romans 13:1-7; 1Timothy 2:1-2). Many of us discuss and deride our politicians but few of us devote our prayers for them. Scripture exhorts us to pray for the well-being and well-doing of our nation’s leaders, even those with whom we disagree.
2) Pray for military and public servants and emergency responders (Romans 13:8-10; 1Peter 2:13-17). Around our nation and world there are millions who wear a uniform with a pledge to preserve good and protect us from harm and evil. Military personnel, police officers, fire-fighters, paramedics, search and rescue, and many others voluntarily put their lives on the line. Pray for their wisdom and well-being. Pray also for their families who experience the stress of never knowing if their loved one will not return the next day.
3) Pray for the recognition of human dignity (Genesis 1:27; Exodus 20:13; Psalm 139:13-16). Around our nation and world we see neglect, manipulation, and abuse of human dignity: from abortion on demand; to the right to die movement; to the horrific rhetoric people use to speak about immigrants and refugees; to the wild violence erupting in neighborhoods and schools; to human trafficking exploits; and even to the alteration of human gender. We must pray for laws and leaders, and society as a whole, to see the value and worth in every human life, from conception to natural death and according to God’s design.
4) Pray for the eradication of racial injustice (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 1:20, 3:11; Revelation 5:9-10). Around our nation and world there is still much pain from racial injustice. While there has been some progress to reconcile, heal and unite our society, there is more work to do. Pray for minority populations to experience fullness of God’s peace. Pray for just laws to address racial and economic disparities. Pray that the church will have a kingdom perspective of every nation, tribe, and tongue gathered around God’s throne. Pray for a movement of multi-ethnic and diverse faith communities to unite for the cause of Christ.
5) Pray for the hungry, the hurting, and the hopeless (Matthew 5:13-16; 25:31-46). Around our nation and world there is much heartache from sin and suffering in a fallen world. People are desperate to have their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs met. Pray for Christians to see people through the compassionate eyes of Jesus. Pray for the church to rise up in tangible ways to share and show the love of Jesus Christ as salt and light in their neighborhoods and across nations.
6) Pray for the church (Psalm 78:4-7, 85:6; Matthew 5:3-10, 6:33, 16:18, 28:18-20; Philippians 2:15-16; Colossians 3:12-17). Pray for God’s people to be united in faith and urgent in Jesus’ Great Commission. for God’s people to be more broken over our own sin than the world’s with repentance and revival. Pray the church would embody the values of Jesus’ kingdom with gospel centrality. Pray for Christians and churches to be the good Samaritan to the ethnic outcast, the loving and truthful voice speaking of living water to an immoral culture drawing water from polluted wells, the hands of Christ serving the disabled and diseased, and the gospel-zealous missionaries to the unreached and unengaged.
7) Pray Maranatha (Mark 1:14-15; Matthew 25:6; 1Corinthians 16:22; Philippians 3:20-21; 1Thessalonians 4:13-18; Titus 2:11-14; Revelation 22:20). May our lives reflect both truths that the Lord has come and is coming again. May Christians pursue the priorities of the eternal kingdom rather than the pleasures of a earthly citizenship.
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This post was adapted from an ERLC Prayer Guide. Our church used this as an introduction to a study on Russell Moore’s Onward: Engaging Culture Without Losing The Gospel. We read each paragraph, along with the corresponding Scriptures, which informed a time of focused prayer for each category.