Prayer for the Nation

Prayer for the nation is critical for restoring truth, morality and godly behavior. It is vital for reestablishing freedom and the American dream through the Christian culture that our nation was founded upon. Wherever you are, your nation needs effective prayer for spiritual renewal, awakening or revival.

For prayer for the nation to be effective (for any nation, people group or even individuals), we must become more Christ-like. You will see why and how as we cover this topic on this page.

Crowd Praying for the NationPrayer for the Nation at a Franklin Graham Decision America Tour

We will learn to pray with incredible, powerful results for people when we think and pray like Jesus. Becoming Christlike is the goal of the Church. (Romans 8:29) Learning to pray like He did, to intercede for sinful people, is paramount to becoming like Him!

Because you are on this page, I know you are very concerned about the loss of morality that we see around us now. Wherever you are, you are part of the solution that God can implement! He acts when people humbly pray like Jesus with a passion to intercede for others in prayer.

Learning to Be Christlike

Effective prayer for the nation is desperately needed. How did Jesus pray for people that were doing evil things? Examples throughout the Bible show how to move God to intercede with mercy and power. Becoming more Christlike will enable us to do that.

Notice what Hebrews 7:24 says about Jesus. “He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” What Jesus “always lives” to do, is to intercede for people to save them! That is what Christ always lives to do. To learn to be like Him, so must we.

God gives us the opportunity to intercede in prayer like Jesus. That experience teaches us to become Christlike! Interceding for others, so that they will draw near to Him to be saved, is a learning experience. It is a vital key to learning to become more like Christ Jesus.

Becoming like Christ, interceding for others, is powerful! It brings forth the saving power of God into our lives. It enables people to draw near to Him, so that He can save them.

To intercede in prayer for the nation is the only solution. Know that you are not alone in doing this! There is a massive Spirit-led move right here in America and in other nations to seek God for His intervention and mercy. Even so, clearly, one person can do the interceding. 

As you pray for the nation(s), first look deep inside yourself to simply discover what your attitude is. Is it Christlike? We can approach the Father with the same attitude that Jesus did while He was on this earth, as we pray for the nation or people we know.

The cumulative results will be massive, if we ask for massive results! Rest assured that those results are already in progress. Become a part of that movement of the Spirit to bring spiritual renewal, revival and awakening. Intercessory Christlike prayer for the nation will be effective! "The things that are impossible with people are possible with God." (Luke 18:27)

How Did Jesus Pray for People?

Father forgive them.Father, forgive them...

Jesus prayed as He hung on the cross in incredible pain, while those who had beaten and crucified Him sneered and hurled insults at Him. He prayed, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” In His most excruciating, disrespected and abused moment of earthly life, His prayer for fallen mankind was for mercy. God’s judgment is a last resort. Not the first! Mercy is His first choice.

He wasn’t angry, vindictive or despondent. He sought mercy for them and all mankind, past present and future. He wouldn’t have been hanging on that cross if his attitude had been anything else. He paid an incredible price to provide redemption through mercy.

Jesus will carry His very costly mercy to its fullest extent possible. Then and only then will He express His divine judgment against those who refuse to repent and be forgiven. Even then, remember how enduring His mercy and loving kindness is described in Psalm 136. "His mercy endures forever" is repeated 26 times. Even when the unavoidable final day of divine judment comes, His mercy will still be enduring and available.

The more Christlike we can become, the more effective our prayers will be. Mercy is at the heart of Christlike prayer for repentance of those around us; not judgment.

James 2:13 makes this stark statement: “For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” And, remember Jesus words when He was teaching His disciples to pray. Matthew 6:14 "For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.

Romans 8:26-29 reveals that we do not know what to pray for apart from the Spirit of God. He will help us, if we are humble.  Verse 29 shows that the purpose of our calling is to become conformed to the image of Jesus, Christlike.

Three Attitudes of Christians

A chosen author mentor of ours, Francis Frangipane, correctly explains that Christians have one of three basic attitudes toward a nation that has veered from morality and truth. The largest group among us has an attitude of apathy. These people might care deeply about the moral downslide of their nation, but they see no hope of it being corrected. So, they retreat into their private lives doing little or nothing beyond their own local and personal concerns.

Angry preacher.

Another group of Christians tend to be quite vocal. They are angry and loud about their deep concern for the depravity and evil they see growing around them. But like the apathetic, their attitude is not Christlike, so their prayer for the nation and words are ineffective. We need to be careful not to have a condemning attitude. Matthew 7:2 "For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.

Jesus corrected His apostles when they had a condemning attitude toward some Samaritans who had rejected Jesus. They asked Jesus if fire should be called down from heaven to destroy them. They were soundly rebuked! "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." (Luke 9:52-56)

Being Christlike should be our first focus in our prayer for the nation. He sought mercy for those who did not understand what they were doing. Rather than having a judgmental attitude toward others, we need to see our own sinful nature and seek repentance and forgiveness for ourselves, as well as others.

The remaining group of Christians are those who are also deeply distressed about the increasingly corrupted society of their nation. But instead of anger or apathy, these pray intensely to intercede for mercy and compassion for those who are careening into the dark pit of deception and ignorance.

These humbly seek to be Christlike, praying for forgiveness and repentance for the offenders who clearly “do not know what they are doing”. These understand our own part in the spiritual decline and seek mercy for themselves, as well as those who are increasingly debased in their lifestyles.

While each of these three attitudes can be easily justified, the only one that is Christlike is a cry for mercy. James 2 says in verses 12 and 13, “So speak and so act as those who are to be judged by the law of liberty. For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.”

Recognize the Real Enemy

We need to realize and keep in mind who the real enemy is as we do battle in prayer for the nation. While many are deceived by Satan and his demons, the real enemy are those evil spirits. They are the ones ultimately guilty of deceiving people in order to keep them from knowing the truth, resulting in the loss of their freedom (liberty). Ephesians 6:12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.

If our struggle is “not against flesh and blood”, but we direct our anger toward deceived people who don’t realize what they are doing, we are not being Christlike. Our prayer for the nation will not be effective. We have authority to use the name of Jesus over those evil spirits. Be sure to read that page.

Respecting the Rule of Law

Let’s not get confused, though. Mercy does not discard the rule of law. When people are breaking moral law and hurting other people, they should be stopped.

These United States of America were founded on the rule of law, based on “the law of nature and nature’s God” (Declaration of Independence). The rule of law is laid down by society to provide a process to determine fairly if the accused is or is not guilty and to provide a proper sentence for law breaking.

“Repentance” is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. Mercy does not mean that people should not be punished according to the rule of law. Mercy in God’s plan is to forgive people for their sins by placing the penalty for sin (eternal death) on Christ on the cross. The rule of law applied justly encourages morality in place of lawlessness to the people in general.

Enforcement of the rule of law will deter others from doing the same evil. The rule of law encourages the acceptance of truth, which anchors freedom. The difference here is a judgmental, condemning attitude that leaves no room for compassionate mercy.

Compassionate prayer for the nation, seeks for repentance from evil. For a nation to receive full mercy, enlightened repentance is needed. Effective prayer for the nation requires humble prayer for mercy, as well as for the opportunity for repentance.

It requires that we seek mercy and repentance for ourselves, as well. None of us is without sin. In prayer for the nation we must be willing to identify with the people who are sinning. That’s why Jesus became part of His creation.

Can We Change God’s Mind?

The Bible is filled with stories of God refusing to destroy a group of evil people because of the presence of some who are not evil. There are plenty of repentant people who seek God in humble prayer for the nation. If you are reading this, you are most likely one among many of those!

Abraham prays for Sodom.

In Genesis 18 Abraham gave us an excellent example of how we should seek God’s mercy for even an unrepentant people. Speaking to the Lord in Person in verse 23, Abraham came near and said, "Will You indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked?” Abraham kept humbly reducing the number that would keep God from destroying the perverted and evil Sodom and Gomorrah. He whittled it down to ten righteous people present to spare the destruction.

God agreed. But there weren’t ten “righteous” there. Perhaps Abraham stopped too soon in his petitioning God for mercy for the city. Only Lot, his wife and two daughters were rescued before the destruction. 

His nephew, Lot, was righteous according to Peter 2:8: "for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard." (2 Peter 2:8) What if Abraham had lowered the number one more time? 

God wants us to seek mercy for evil people. He listens and responds. He chooses to let us intercede with Him in that way. He wants people to work with Him. He acts when people pray with a Christlike attitude.

Moses Influenced God

The golden calf fashioned by the Israelites.

In Exodus 32, while Moses was on Mount Sanai talking directly with God and receiving the Ten Commandments, the Israelites were fashioning a golden calf and declaring it to be their god. Think of that. One of the Ten Commandments God was inscribing in stone with His own finger were the words, “have no other gods before Me.” God knew what the people were doing while He was inscribing that for Moses.

When He was done, he said to Moses in verse 7, "Go down at once, for your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” Notice how he gave Moses responsibility by referring to them as “your people”. We need to take responsibility for "our people", too.

In verse 10 He said. "Now then let Me alone, that My anger may burn against them and that I may destroy them; and I will make of you a great nation." Make no mistake about it. God was giving Moses a chance to “stand in the gap” in pleading, intercessory prayer for mercy for the wayward Israelites.

Moses prays for Israelites

Moses immediately “sought favor of the Lord”. He was interceding for the nation of Israel! He pleaded and reasoned with the God of the universe, which is exactly what God wanted Him to do. That is exactly what Jesus "always lives" to do! We should be like Him.

The key to understanding this is that God wants a close personal relationship with us. Close and personal enough for us not to be afraid to boldly and specifically ask Him for merciful intervention for others, as well as ourselves.

He acts when people draw close to him in prayer to intercede for others. He works with and through people who seek Him, draw near to Him and intercede for others like Christ "always" does.

Moses’s example for us was to climb the mountain to approach God without fear. Then he humbly sought mercy from Him with a very personal tone and sincere compassion for Israel and for the good of God’s own reputation.

Notice God's response. In verse 14, Then the LORD relented and did not bring on his people the disaster he had threatened.

A “threat” from God is not set in stone. It’s a warning! It's a call for people to pray! It wasn’t that God had to be convinced by a mere man that He should be merciful. God looks for people who will seek to partner with Him in His mercy for mankind. God, who established justice also established mercy. 

He does not intend to act alone. Man was created to partner with Him. We partner with Him by being like Christ, always interceding. It’s all about a relationship with Him. It has been since the creation of mankind. 

Standing in the Gap: Prayer for the Nation

Around 593-571 B.C. Ezekiel recorded how God was looking for someone to beseech Him for mercy for Israel’s sins. He does the same for all people today. Ezekiel 22:30 "I searched for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land, so that I would not destroy it; but I found no one. 31 "Thus I have poured out My indignation on them; I have consumed them with the fire of My wrath; their way I have brought upon their heads," declares the Lord GOD.

Notice how Daniel identified with Israel when he repented on behalf of fallen Israel and pleaded for mercy in prayer for the nation. (Around 530 B.C.)  Daniel 9:2 I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. 3 So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition

Verse 5, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your commands and laws.

Verse 8, … we have sinned against you. 9 The Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him

Verse 15, …we have done wrong. 16 Lord, in keeping with all your righteous acts, turn away your anger and your wrath from Jerusalem

Verse 18 We do not make requests of you because we are righteous, but because of your great mercy. 19 Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name.”

Notice how he repented and prayed on behalf of the entire nation. Notice how He shows concern for the name, reputation and honor of God, as did Moses and other intercessors throughout history. Intercessors seek to address the issue that Satan is to be prevented from stealing and concealing the glory, honor and reputation of the great God!

Satan tries to steal and diminish the honor of God by deceiving people. We need to address that in prayer for the nation. (“Our struggle is not against flesh and blood…”) Declaring great concern for the greatness of His name is the first thing stated in the How to Pray teaching of Jesus: “Hallowed be your name.”

Daniel’s humble pleading for mercy was heard. The response was to send the Archangel Gabriel to encourage him. 9:22 “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding. 23 As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed.

Chapter 10:12 Then he continued, “Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them.

The nation of Israel had invited evil spirits into their lives, as we all do to some extent with a faithless lifestyle. You will notice in the book of Daniel that war in heaven was being waged against the evil spirits, as a result of Daniel’s prayer for the nation. God is omnipotent and the evil spirits are weak in comparison, but He does choose to act as a result of someone praying for Him to intercede. He chooses to be dependent on prayers.

Can We Do This Today?

Bring this all forward to today. We can intercede in the same way for peoples today as Moses, Daniel and others did for Israel. Read what Paul taught Timothy.

1 Tim 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. 

Those in authority are either gateways for evil to come in, or for Truth that anchors freedom.

Verse 3 This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself as a ransom for all… ,

Verse 8 Therefore I want the men in every place to pray… without wrath and dissension. (Anger is not Christlike. Mercy is.)

Romans 11:32 For God has shut up all in disobedience so that He may show mercy to all.

Our nations need us to shed the apathy and stop withdrawing. We need to exchange our anger against those sinning around us, for mercy. We first must see our own need for mercy and pursue that constantly. Then, we can intercede humbly and powerfully in Christlike prayer for the nation. 

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