June 25, 1984
ost Christians in the United States are not fulfilling the duties of Christian citizenship, states Bill Bright, president of Campus Crusade for Christ. “We have disobeyed our Lord,” Bright says. “We have ceased to be the ‘salt of the earth’ and the ‘light of the world,’ as Christ has commanded. As a result . . . we are in danger of losing our nation by default.”
Bright believes that praying for our country is the first step in setting this nation “on a new course of righteousness for His glory,” and in becoming good Christian citizens.
We can learn how to pray for America by studying the prayer which King Solomon offered for Israel when he dedicated the Temple to the Lord. This magnificent invocation is recorded in 2 Chronicles 6:14-42.
Pray that America will be a “covenant nation” (vv. 14-17). The covenant which God made with Abraham concerning Israel comes by faith to all godly peoples (Romans 4:16). The psalmist wrote, “Yea, happy is that people, whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 144: 15).
Pray for divine intervention (vv. 18-21). Solomon prayed that the Temple would be a place where God would hear His people’s cries. As God’s children we should cry out for God to manifest His glory in our land.
Pray for justice (vv. 22, 23). Justice can prevail only if a nation has righteous leaders. We should pray for our governmental leaders, and prayerfully determine which candidates we should promote and vote for when elections draw near.
Pray for victory (w. 24, 25). We must pray that Christianity will triumph over America’s greatest enemies-immorality, apathy, humanism, Satanism, materialism, and the opponents of religious freedom.
Pray for blessings (vv. 26, 27). If our nation again becomes a Christian nation, all of its needs will be met by God.
Pray for individuals (vv. 28-31). Revival comes as individuals, such as our relatives and friends, repent. Since repentance is a personal act, Solomon prayed, “Render unto every man according unto all his ways.”
Pray for the oppressed (vv. 32, 33). James wrote, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27; New International Version). We should pray and work for the rights of the truly needy people in America.
Pray for the cause of Christianity (vv. 34, 35). America can be the world’s greatest lighthouse for Christianity, outshining the evils of atheism, false religions and unconcern in other nations.
Pray that mercy will be received (vv. 36-39). The United States deserves divine judgment, yet God is “ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger” (Nehemiah 9: 17). But judgment will come.
Our prayers for the United States should reflect the mode of Solomon’s dedicatory prayer. First, he sought God humbly: “Hitherto, while speaking to the people, the king had stood; now, in addressing God, he kneels,” says Pulpit Commentary. Second, he beseeched God fervently: Solomon stretched his hands heavenward, symbolizing “inward emotion and fervency of spirit.” Third, he prayed believingly.
God grandly answered the wise king’s invocation by filling the Temple with His glory and promising, among other things, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).