National Day of Prayer

Today, many of us around the country are focusing our prayers on our leaders. Let’s remember to not only pray for our national leaders, but also for our state and local leaders as well. At some point, we hope to have a page on this blog with a list of all the municipalities in the metro-Birmingham area, with the names of each mayor. If you don’t know your mayor’s name or any of your council members, today would be a good time to find out their names and pray for them specifically.

Instead of focusing on praying for a particular city today, I felt the Lord lead me in a different direction. There are two verses He’s laid on my heart. The first one is probably one of the most common verses for the National Day of Prayer – II Chronicles 7:14. However, I can’t hardly pray past the first line: “If My people who are called by My name humble themselves…”. The second verse is I Timothy 2:1-2: “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.”

Father, You are our King and our God. You are Sovereign over all of Creation. It is by Your hand that leaders are raised up. It is Your will that we not only submit to our leaders, but also to humbly pray for them. Lord, I have been convicted lately of praying that my will be done, not Yours. Especially when it comes to government leaders, it seems we tend to pray for our wants, our agendas, our points of view, while waiting on the “other people” (whoever that may be) to humble themselves so that You’ll heal our land already. Lord, forgive us. Instead of seeking Your face in prayer, we are too busy grumbling about how bad our nation is and that if You don’t do something soon, we’re in trouble. God, please forgive us. Bring us to repentance.

Change our perspective, Lord, so that we truly humble ourselves, instead of pointing the finger at who we think needs to be more humble. Help us realize that You’ve called us to do two things when it comes to seeing our land healed and leading a tranquil life: to humble ourselves, and to pray for all men, including our leaders. Those 2 things must come before our opinions and agendas. Cause us to pray that Your kingdom would come and that Your will would be done in our nation, our state, and our cities; not our will, but Thine be done. Instead of praying that You would change those we don’t agree with, cause us to pray that You would change us, humble us, instead.

Finally Lord, we do lift up our leaders today. Father, most of us will never know the weight they carry, so help us to give them grace in how we think about them and what we say about them. We pray that if their hearts are not for You, that You would turn their hearts like rivers of water. Give them wisdom, discernment, and protection. Bless them with wise counselors and advisors. Most of all, bless them with Christians who are committed to humbly pray for them. For the sake of Your Kingdom and for Your will to be done, we ask this in the name of Your Son, Jesus, to whom belongs all power and the glory forever. Amen.