Since we are looking this Sunday at the kind of people and actions that invite the presence of God to be manifested among us, I thought the following prayer would be a good way to invite you to observe this very special 4th of July weekend. Getting a true picture of who God is and of where we have fallen short of His calling is often a big part of encountering God powerfully.
I invite you to not only look over this prayer but use it in your personal devotional time with God and in family devotions. Take paragraphs one at a time asking the Holy Spirit to point out where this prayer needs to be your prayer personally. Pray it together around your table sometime this weekend, inviting each person at the table to read a section. Pray it as a citizen of this country and thus in some way party to much of what it talks about.
As you know, it’s not the exact words that matter; it’s the heart. Pray this weekend with your heart wide open to God.
God always dwells with those who are of humble and contrite heart. Isaiah 66:2 says, “Has not my hand made all these things, and so they came into being?” declares the LORD. “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” We are being humbled as a nation. Will we be the contrite in heart? And will we tremble at His word? I invite you to do so this weekend in your family time, your private moments and your shared worship with God’s people.
God is looking for a people with whom He can meet. See you in His presence!
National Prayer of Repentance
Lord, You are good; Your steadfast love endures forever, and Your faithfulness to all generations (Ps 100:5, ESV).
We come on bended knee to acknowledge our utter dependence upon You, our Creator, God, and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ. You are God of the Old and New Testaments. Your Covenant of love with us who believe is sealed by the blood of Your Son. Your promise to bless us if we believe, honor and obey You and to judge us if we do not, continues in force (Ps 95:6-7; Rom 5:8-9; Heb 8:10)
Lord, today, we unite with fellow Christians across America, from many denominations and backgrounds, falling to our knees before You, asking You to help us humble ourselves, not only today, but every day. Hear our prayers, forgive our sins and heal our land (2 Chr 7:14)!
We have been proud and arrogant, as individuals, families, churches and as a nation. You have singularly blessed us, but we have taken Your blessing for granted (Jas 4:6; 1 Pet 5:5-6) You are worthy of our love and devotion. Instead, we have forgotten You and ignored Your word. We have not esteemed You as Almighty God, nor have we honored, served and obeyed You as we ought (Ps 18; Rev 4:11).
Few of us are walking in pure devotion to You, worshiping wholeheartedly, praying without ceasing, and daily feeding upon Your word. Too few of us have given ourselves enthusiastically to do Your will and labored diligently to finish Your work. Rather we have forsaken You, the Spring of Living water, and imbibed the stagnant waters of our modern culture (Pr 12:24; Jer 2:13; Mt 4:10; Jn 4:34; 1 Th 5:17; 2 Tim 2:15).
You call us to be a light, to live holy lives, to walk in Christian love and carry the gospel of Christ to the nations. Instead, we have withheld the grace of Your gospel from our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers, allowing far too many to face a Christ-less eternity. You command us to bring up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, yet our youth are abandoning the faith in unprecedented numbers. While we ignore Your command to preach the gospel, those who serve false gods zealously proselytize, trapping millions in eternal darkness and confusion. We have been complacent, apathetic, lazy, disobedient, and unfaithful to Your call (Mt 5:14-16).
You charge us to be salt to our culture, to preserve truth and all that is godly and pure. Yet we have allowed the rot of godless media and entertainment to fill our homes. Instead of permeating our culture with vital Biblical truth, instead of filling our homes, churches, schools, businesses, halls of government, and thus our nation with eternal truth and reality, we have allowed them to be infected by lies and spiritual darkness. Instead of changing the world, the world has changed us. We seem impotent. Having failed to be the salt of the earth, we are fast becoming good for nothing except to be cast out and trodden under the feet of men (Mt 5:13).
Lord, the living faith of our Forefathers, their love and devotion to their children, and their commitment to future generations compelled them to sacrifice their lives for us. Yet we have become the “me generation.” We elect leaders, not for their righteousness, but their promise to give us benefits. Absorbed with our own lives and material possessions, we have lost sight of all that is important: God and family, our neighbors, our fellow countrymen and the people beyond the seas whom You love and for whom You gave Your Son (Pr 29:2; Ex 18:21).
Now, our nation is under judgment; natural disasters pummel our cities and countryside; we face war on two fronts; rogue nations hate us and international terrorists have penetrated our borders. Economic collapse cripples entire regions, millions are out of work; preachers and politicians are put on display for their acts of corruption and immorality; our leaders mortgage our children’s future to build political monuments to themselves. Our jails and prisons are filled to overflowing. Our children are enslaved by unthinkable sins, sex, drugs and alcohol. Abortion and sexual immorality have become protected rights, and legislators, judges and governors impose homosexual “marriage” upon their citizens. Our schools teach that “marriage” between a man and a man is morally equivalent to holy matrimony between a man and woman; evil is called good, and good is called evil. The curses you warned would come to a disobedient people have
all come upon us (Dt 8:11-20; 28: all; Is 5:20)
Unless You, Lord, intervene and bring revival to the Church, Awakening to the nation and spiritual reformation to our culture, our once God-blessed nation will go the way of ancient Carthage, Greece, and Rome. Persecution will surely become our lot (Ps 85:6; 94:17; Mt 5:13b).
Lord, we cry out to You today. Hear our cry. Help us to seek Your Face. Show us Your Face, and help us to turn from our wicked ways (2 Chr 7:14).
Lord, Heal our Land. Show us mercy! Forgive us our sins and cleanse us! Revive Your churches. Set our pulpits aflame with righteousness. Purge compromise from our pews and cause Your word to go forth to every city and town in America. Make Your people salt and light again. Raise up godly leaders in church and state and grant that we might lead quiet and peaceable lives in godliness and honesty. Help us to return wholly to You and return, Lord, to us.
We pray in the Name of Jesus, knowing that Your word declares, “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever." (2 Chr 7:14; Is 40:8; Joel 2:15-18; Mal 3:7a; 2 Cor 7:1; 1 Jn 1:9)