While we live in a divided political time, citizens of heaven, who happen to also be temporary citizens of the United States, should pray for this country. Just as we would pray for another nation far from the Lord, we should pray as well for the people and government of the United States.
I have compiled some verses regarding government to help guide your prayers, but beware of substituting the United States in scriptural portions regarding the nation of Israel.
The New Testament passages below are straightforward. Many of the Old Testament portions speak regarding all nations. For the ones that apply specifically to the nation of Israel, we want to find a guiding principle rather than a genuine promise. We must not assume what was promised to Israel should be granted to the United States.
In those passages, you should seek principles that should be applied to God’s people within the United States rather than God’s people as the United States.
Interpret those passages as God’s people within nations crying out to God regarding the sins of His people. For example, 2 Chron. 7:14 is a great command for Israel to pray for the nation and God heal the land. As we pray like that in our context, we must pray that as God’s people praying for God’s people among the land and not like the land is synonymous with God’s people.
Hopefully, these verses can help guide you to apply scriptural expectations for believers to pray for governmental leaders (even if you don’t agree with them), pray for the good of a people, but ultimately, pray that God would use His Church within the United States to make an impact with the gospel.
- 1 Timothy 2:1-2 – I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession
andthanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.
- 1 Peter 2:17 – Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.
- Romans 13:1 – Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.
- Titus 3:1-2 – Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.
- Jeremiah 29:7 – Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.
- Proverbs 21:1 – The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will.
- Proverbs 11:14 – For lack of guidance a nation falls, but victory is won through many advisers.
- Psalms 2:10-11 – Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.
- Job 12:23-25 – He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges
nations,and disperses them.
- 2 Chronicles 7:14 – If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
- 1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
- Philippians 3:20 – But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Among all the blessings we have as American citizens, let us not neglect to pray biblical prayers for this nation under the mighty hand of God.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.