As we face the New Year and the threat of the Fiscal Cliff, let me suggest that we spend time in prayer for our nation. Most of my readers are from the USA, but I know this blog is read in at least 40 other countries. Perhaps the following will prime the pump of prayer for your nation as well:
• The Bible teaches that God blesses those nations that keep His standards of justice and righteousness. “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.” (Proverbs 15:34 NIV)
• It also teaches that God will discipline nations that defy His standards. “For the nation or kingdom that will not serve you will perish; it will be utterly ruined.” (Isaiah 60:12 NIV)
• Our nation has clearly violated many of God’s moral standards.
• The Bible gives examples of individual believers who, convicted over the sins of their nation, confessed those sins to God. Thus, Nehemiah prayed: “O LORD, God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and obey his commands, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we have committed, including myself and my father’s house, have committed against you. We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.” (Nehemiah 1:5-7 NIV)
• God commands us to pray “for all men everywhere,” and especially for our national leaders, with the overarching goal of peace and salvation. “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone– for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Tim 2:1-4 NIV)
• Holy Scripture teaches that Satan binds the hearts and blinds the minds of the lost, and that we should pray for their release from that bondage. “… if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.” (II Timothy 2:25-26 NASB)
• Jesus taught that we should pray even for our enemies. “But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44 NIV)
• The Bible teaches that we should not be anxious, but instead that we should present our requests to God with thanksgiving, which results in the experience of God’s peace. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)
A blessed 2013 to you and your family, and may God lead our nation along the path of repentance!