Prayers for your nation

In this critical time of the USA national election and uncertain outcome, let us plead before the Lord for his mercy and grace. See below special prayers for your own land and nation based totally on the words of Scripture, as composed by Matthew Henry 300 years ago, but just as relevant today.

1. Thank God for his mercies to your land.

Lord, thank you for planting us in a very fruitful hill rather than making the wilderness our habitation or the barren desert our home. Our land yields abundant harvests. You have treated our nation so graciously. We have heard with our ears and our fathers have told us the work you did for them in earlier days. By your special favor we have experienced for ourselves exactly what previous generations told us. Help us to regularly remind ourselves of your mercy to our land whenever we gather together for worship. Isa. 5:1; Job 39:6; Psa. 85:12; 85:1; 44:1; 48:8, 9

How gracious you have been to give us such a pleasant land. It is rightly called "Immanuel’s land." Though we have abused it terribly, it remains a Valley of Vision. For you hae set up your tabernacle among us, and your sanctuary remains in our midst. Because of your continual blessing, each family lives safely under its own vine and fig tree. Peaceful security stays with us as we travel back and forth. Jer. 3:19; Isa. 8:8; 22:1; Ezek. 37:26, 27; 1 Kings 4:25; 2 Chron. 15:5

In your loving concern, set over us a good government that practices justice and opposes corruption. Give us governmental leaders who will be a terror to all those who do evil, and will praise and protect those who do good. 1 Kings 10:9; Rom. 13:3

2. Humble yourself before God for national sins that could easily provoke his wrath.

We are a sinful people, a people weighed down with iniquity. We and our children are utterly corrupted. We have good reason to weep before God over the abominations regularly committed among us. Because so much iniquity abounds, the love of most has grown cold. Yet in your grace you have not forsaken us. Isa. 1:4; Ezek. 9:4; Matt. 24:12; Jer. 51:5

3. Pray earnestly for God's mercy toward your nation.

(1) Humbly ask God for the manifestation of his favor toward your nation, since every national blessing depends on his grace.

O Savior of your people in time of trouble, do not be a stranger in our nation. Do not be like a traveler that turns aside for just a night. Instead, come and make your permanent residence among us. Our national iniquities testify against us. We have sinned against you. Yet for the glory of your own name do not forsake us. Jer. 14:7-9

Bring genuine repentance for the sins of this people, O Covenant LORD, God of hosts. Cause your face to shine with favor toward us. Show your binding love to your covenant people as you bless their land. Let your salvation be always near those who fear you, that glory may dwell in our land. Let mercy and truth meet together. Let righteousness and peace kiss each other. Let truth spring up out of the earth, and righteousness come down from heaven. Let righteousness go before you to determine the way of your dealing with our nation. Let the Lord give the best for our people, whatever that might be. Psa. 80:2, 3; 85:7, 9-13.

(2) Pray that the gospel will always continue among your nation, and the means of grace remain available to all your people. Ask the Lord to allow a door to remain open in your nation for the spread of the saving gospel of Christ.

Let the ruling throne of Christ be apparent among us as an unbroken dynasty that lasts forever through the establishment and maintenance of his church and his kingdom. Let your sovereignty that governs all nations bring blessing to our people. Let the candlestick of the church of Christ in the midst of our nation never be removed from its place, though we deserve that it should. For your people have left their first love. Never do to us as you did to Shiloh, where you first set your name and then removed it. Let our people never know what a famine of the word of God means. Do not make the people of this land be forced to wander from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth seeking some word from you. Psa. 45:6; Jer.17:12; Rev. 2:4, 5; Jer.7:12, 14; Amos 8:11, 12

Be for us the stability of our times and the source of our saving experiences. Let the fear of the Lord be treasured by our people. Let the righteous flourish among us. Let those who fear you continue in our land as long as the sun and moon endure. Throughout the generations to come let there be abundance of peace, so that children yet to be born may praise the Lord throughout our land. Isa. 33:6; Psa. 72:5-7; 102:18

(3) Pray for the outward peace and tranquility of your nation, and the continuation of its liberty. Ask for God's abundant blessing on the fruitfulness of your land.

Make peaceful relations be our governor, righteousness the supervisor of our businesses. Let violence never be heard in our streets, invasion or devastation along our borders. Let our national boundary lines have the reputation of inviting visitors with the words, "Come in here to find the good news of salvation proclaimed openly," "Enter here and be free to offer your praise to God." Never let our land be termed "Forsaken" and "Desolate." Let the Lord delight in blessing his people in this land. Let him show his special love to them as those to whom he is married. Let a song be sung by God's people in this nation when the Lord manifests himself to be their wall of defense. Let the city of God in heaven find a reflection of its righteousness in our cities. Let people who maintain truth feel completely welcome as they enter our cities, towns and villages. Isa.27:1, 2; 60:17, 18; 62:4

Let righteousness which exalts a nation abound among us. Deliver us from national sins which are a disgrace to any people. Let our peace be as the deep waters of a river and our righteousness as the mighty waves of the sea. Prov. 14:34; Isa. 48:18

Never make our heavens as brass and our earth as iron. Do not take away your corn and your wine in their seasons. Give us rain moderately in its proper season, both the early and the later rains. Let our land yield her increase, and our trees their fruit. Reserve the appointed weeks of harvest for us, giving us fair weather in all the various seasons of the year. Let us eat our bread in peace and be fully satisfied, living safely in our land. Deut. 28:23; Hos. 2:9; Joel 2:23; Jer. 5:24; Lev. 26:4, 5

Abundantly bless our provisions. Satisfy our poor with bread. When they gather in their harvest, let them eat and praise the Lord. Do not blow away what our hands have gathered in. When we expect much do not let it end up being very little. Heap your blessing on our blessings, that all nations may call us blessed, a land filled with delights. Psa. 132:15; Isa. 62:9; Hag. 1:9; Mal 3:10, 12

Let God himself be a wall of fire around his people in our land. Be the glory in our midst. Let the gospel be our glory, and let a canopy protect its honor. Create for your people a cloud to cover them in the heat of the day, and a flaming fire to give light and protection for them by night. May peace be within our borders and security within our walls. Let your people rejoice whether their travels take them far away, or they stay near to home. Let your people invite all nations to come and worship with them at God's holy mountain. Zech. 2:5; Isa.4:5; Psa. 122:7; Deut. 33:18

(4) Offer your petitions for God's blessing on all efforts to reform your nation's lifestyle and to suppress all its vices.

Let reformation begin with your church. Let the Redeemer come to Zion, turning away ungodliness from Jacob. Let the filth of Jerusalem be purged from your chosen remnant by a purifying, burning spirit of judgment. Rom. 11:26; Isa. 4:4

O righteous God who tries the hearts and motives of men, let the wickedness of the wicked come to an end, and establish the purposes of the just. Motivate many to rise up in your behalf against those who practice evil. Help them to stand up for you against all workers of iniquity. Let those that are striving against sin never become weary or faint in their determination. Psa. 7:9; 94:16; Heb. 12:3, 4

Let the mouth of all that promote oppression be shut. Display your covenant faithfulness to the poor and needy by multiplying their families like flocks as you free them from their affliction. Execute your righteous judgments so that the infection of the plague may be stopped. Banish the name of every idol from our land. Purify the lips of the peoples that they may call on the name of the Lord and serve him shoulder to shoulder. Exalt your people above all nations by making them a holy people to you, the Covenant LORD our God. Let them be praised, made famous and held in honor by all people. Psa. 107:42; 106:30; Zech. 13:2; Zeph. 3:9; Deut. 25:19

(5) Pray for the protection of your people as they enter the conflict against evil and untruth as it manifests itself in your own nation, among your national neighbors, and throughout distant countries.

We thank you for those who live in jeopardy of their lives as they stand in the frontline of the battlefield throughout the nations of the world. Give them all the skills and instincts necessary for the conflict that confronts them. Teach their hands to war and their fingers to fight.

Let your salvation be their shield. Let the powerful interventions of your right hand sustain them. Cover their heads against the mortal dangers that fly at them in the day of battle. Judg. 5:18; Psa. 18:34, 35; 140:7

Give us your help in all our conflicts. For any deliverance that comes by human help is utterly useless. Through God let us do valiantly, for God himself will tread down our enemies. In your good providence you appoint our deliverers. Make the nations like dust to their sword, and like driven stubble to their bow. Psa. 60:11, 12; Isa. 41:2.

Let us be a happy people, unique in being saved by the Lord. Let the Lord position himself as our defensive shield and our brilliant sword. Make our enemies flee in panic when they see that the Lord fights for us against them. Rise, Lord, and let your enemies be scattered. Let all those that hate you flee before you. Then return, O Lord, to the many thousands of your people that sojourn as strangers through this hostile world. Deut. 33:29; Exod. 14:25; Numb. 10:35

(6) Pray for all those who work as public servants throughout your land.

Counsel our policymakers. Teach our governors wisdom. Give them a share of the spirit of wisdom, understanding and knowledge that belong to Christ our sovereign Messiah. Make them quick to demonstrate that they understand the importance of fearing the Lord. Do not silence the lips of trustworthy advisors. Do not take away the discernment of the aged. In this day and age, do not let the things that could bring peace to your people be hid from our eyes. Psa. 105:22; Isa.11:2, 3; Job 12:20; Luke 19:42

Make it clear that you stand in the assembly of the politically powerful, that you judge the judges. Let the leaders of the nations recognize that they live under the sovereignty of the God of Abraham. Let the flags of the world's nations symbolize that they submit to the rule of the Lord, so that you may be greatly exalted. Psa. 82:1; 47:9

(7) Pray specifically for magistrates, judges, and supreme court justices of the land.

Direct those that preside judicially over us to make just decisions, ruling in the fear of God. Let them always remember that they judge not for man, but for God, the one who presides over them in their judgments. Let the fear of the Lord continually rest on them. 2 Sam. 23:3, 4; 2 Chron. 19:6, 7

Appoint as our judges people who are capable of handling their responsibilities well. Make them incorruptible men of truth, fearing God and despising bribery. Let justice roll on like waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream that never stops flowing. Exod. 18:24; Amos 5:24

Empower our magistrates to retain their integrity. Enable them to defend the widow and fatherless, do justice for the afflicted and needy, and deliver the poor and helpless out of the hands of wicked men. Let our rulers never be a terror to good works, but always to the evil. Psa. 82:2, 3; Rom. 13:4; 1 Pet. 2:14