Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Prayer for the Nation

I was invited to pray for our nation at the American Event again this year. Several people have asked me for a copy of the prayer, so I will post it here.

My prayer for the nation in 2011:

Dear Lord, we come before you tonight as a grateful people. You have blessed our great nation throughout its history with your grace and favor. We know that the nations are less than dust on the scales to You, but You have chosen in your mercy to favor this land of America.

We have enjoyed your protection in our homeland, Your power in our world, and You have given us a favored place among nations. We have been blessed with prosperity, peace in our land, power to change our world, and provision in each step of our journey as a great nation. We have enjoyed your grace throughout our history.
You favored us with wisdom in our nation’s birth as our founding documents reveal a God-given government unlike anything else in history. You favored us with great leaders, resources, and hard working people that forged this land You gave to us into a mighty nation built on the strength of your grace in the lives of the people of America.
You favored us with a shared mission of reconciliation as we became a great lighthouse in the tossed seas of humanity on this broken Earth. We welcomed the diversity of the peoples of all nations, and we worked to change lives in our world and promote the principles You gave to us around the globe. You favored us and allowed Your grace to flow through this nation as we became a conduit of Your blessing to all peoples.
We expanded from sea to shining sea and beyond and become a promised land of Your favor and a sign of your blessings that you desire to rain down upon all peoples.

We come before You today, however, with a confession. We have watched Your grace and favor turned to selfishness and entitlement. We have seen your Word turned in its meaning to promote individuals and give license to behavior unpleasing to You. We have taken your blessing and freedom and used it to make ourselves a bond-servant to debt and individualistic consumerism. We have turned from your Word to humanism. We have exalted ourselves and believe at best that we have somehow deserved your favor and at worst that we have been masters of our own destiny and producers of our own prosperity.

We have shifted our focus from the Republic with which You blessed us and have instead chosen to promote the individual. We have ceased being a nation of peers and equals working together to better our world and have become a nation of consumers seeking entitlement. You have blessed us with resources and we have tuned them to our own uses and promotion. We have sold out our future for what we have consumed today, and we have acquired a debt that enslaves us as servants to the lender rather than Your servants.

We have allowed our leaders to lead without being accountable to You. We have taken the wisdom with which You graced us and turned it to selfish purposes. We have allowed leaders that are unable to lead to be exalted and we have refused to allow those who can lead in your wisdom to lead. We have become a nation seeking self-promotion. We have become a nation no longer willing to hear your voice. We have looked in the mirror and seen our collective soul, but we have turned and forgotten what we look like. We have become no different from our first parents as we have driven your voice from our government, schools, workplaces, and homes. We have chosen to follow a path that exalts self instead of You, and we deserve the same fate as our first parents.

You, however, have not entirely turned Your back on this American nation. We know You still pour out your grace like rain on the people of America. Your grace gives us what we don’t deserve. We still see the rains fall on our heartland, We still see the shining seas on both sides of our continent. We still have resources, liberty, and the potential to change the direction of this nation. We still have the powerful prospect of turning from our current direction and taken a new path. The freedom to form our future is still in our hands tonight.

We ask you tonight, as we celebrate 235 years of this great nation, for more of Your grace. There are still those among us that love You. There are still those among us who are grateful for your favor. There are still those among us that seek to improve our society rather than promote self. There is a remnant of your people, and we the remnant ask for your grace for our nation. We admit that we as a nation do not deserve favor, and we admit that we have no reason to ask. We know you are a loving God and that your desire is to favor us with Your grace. Help us to turn and position ourselves once again to live in your favor, to declare the acceptable year of our God in this land, to bind up the brokenhearted, set at liberty the captivity and provide for those who grieve across our land.

We stand here tonight as people that love this land. We love the purple mountains and the shining seas. We love the fields of grain, and the spacious skies of this great land. We know You still have a future for this land if we would turn and seek You. Help us tonight to turn. Help us to place persons of Your wisdom again in leadership of this nation. Help us again to be a lighthouse to the world.

We need You now like never before in our history. We stand at a crossroads, and we desire to lead this nation down the road towards your favor. Whether we come from an atheist background, Buddhist background, Christian background, or have no background at all, You have a future for each of us in a relationship with You.
May we as individuals lay aside our consumeristic selfishness long enough to discover the joy of a relationship with You. May a revival of your grace begin in this place tonight as we become the light we ask for in this nation. We don’t look to politicians or government programs for our salvation as a people or as a nation; we look to You.
Be among us tonight as we celebrate and reflect on the words of the wise speakers present tonight. Be among us as we form a community of people that love our shared nation. Empower us tonight to go from this place and live in your favor as we allow Your power to work within us. As You work within us, may we become the change we ask for. May a revival of your presence begin here tonight that changes our land and restores us to Your favor. We ask this before it is too late for our beloved nation. Begin change now and begin it in each of our hearts tonight.

May you bless this nation and each person here tonight in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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