and what we can do about it. It's called Intercessory Prayer.
I've committed, with my church, to "30 Days of Prayer for America". While reading De'Etta's blog Choosing Joy, she talked about how she was feeling led to pray for our country. So I am taking the plunge and sharing 30 Days of Prayer for America" with you. For the next 30 days, we are called to pray for our nation...state by state, leader by leader. Here's what the flier says:
We're going on an unforgettable journey...
30 Days of Prayer For America
For 30 memorable days, we're going to pray across America. Through the instant access of intercession we will visit every state, every territory, and our nations capital, Washington, DC. Our guide on this unforgettable journey is the Prayer Map of America, a unique resource with an easy-to-follow, day-by-day itinerary.
2008 is a crucial year for America - a year of challenges and, of course, a year of decisions. Of all the things we can do for our country at this historic time, nothing is more important than prayer. If we truly want God to bless America - to stand beside her and guide her - wemust pray.
The strategy is simple: Each day for the specifed 30 Days of Prayer for America we will take just a few minutes to pray for that day's requests. There are only two requests per day, so it won't take much time, but it will make a huge impact. The unified effect of believers praying can awaken our nation, renew our church and spiritually transform our lives. This is going to be a great journey. Don't miss it!
Now - since there's no way I can truly provide you a copy of the map, I will post each day's request here. If you have a map at home, you can find the states you are praying for, and visually connect with them. But even if you don't have a map handy, you can take a few minutes to pray the requests of each day.
Whenever you come to a request for a specific state or territory in the daily list, remember these priorities:
- Pray for the leaders of the state, that God's Spirit would guide them to act justly, serve with integrity and uphold high moral standards.
- Pray for the churches of the state, that they would be lighthouses of truth, havens of hope, and centers of love for all people.
- Pray for the Christians of the state, that they would be faithful witnesses for Christ, humble servants of God, and positive influences on society
Praying for our President and Vice President. They bear responsibilities of enormous importance. Pray that their hearts would be guided by God, that their decisions would be wise, and that their leadership would be principled.
Praying for our Congressional Leaders. The hundreds of men and women who serve in the U.S. Congress - our Representatives and Senators - oversee the nation's legislative business. Pray that they will govern with God-honoring discernment and preserve the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
Praying for our Justice System. Ours is a nation pledged to justice for all; and though our systems has its imperfections, it is markedly better than most of the world. Millions in our society serve as police officers, prosecutors, defenders and judges. And, in the highest roles, nine individuals serve as Justices on the U.S. Supreme Court. Pray that all of these public servants will be vigilant, discerning and wise.
Praying for our Armed Forces. We are blessed with liberty because brave members of our Armed Forces have fought to keep us free. Today, a new generation of soldiers, sailors, marines airmen and guardsmen are serving gallantly, and we are the beneficiaries. Pray with appreciation for their service, and ask God to bless them with strength.
Praying for Spiritual Renewal. America has many needs, but none more important than a spiritual awakening and a spiritual renewal. Pray for the Gospel to be communicated across the full spectrum of our society. Pray for biblical principles, long dormant, to bear new fruit. Pray that Americans of all ages, races and backgrounds would be drawn to God and receive His life and salvation.
Praying for Candidates for Public Office. In our system of government, we the people select our leaders. This is a great responsibility and we must exercise it wisely and prayerfully. Pray for the candidates for public office, that they would be moved by God to seek what is honorable, just and moral.
PRAYING FOR THE STATES
Listed on most days of the 30-day prayer plan are the names of specific U.S. states or territories. The goal each day is to pray for the leaders, churches and Christians in those places. Following are some key thoughts to guide your intercession.
Praying for Leaders in the State. The Bible instructs us to make requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving for all who are in authority, "that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Timothy 2:1-2). In our world, this means we are to pray for Governors, Lieutenant Governors and other leaders in authority. Specifically, we should pray that they would act justly, that they would serve with integrity, and that they would uphold moral standards.
Praying for Churches in the State. Churches, of course, are not merely buildings; they are living, active bodies of believers. America is blessed with more than 300,000 churches of all denominations and traditions. As you intercede for these churches, both generally and specifically, pray that they would be lighthouses of truth, havens of hope and centers of love.
Praying for Christians in the State. Jesus said that His followers are to be "salt" and "light" within society. Like salt, they should make others thirsty for the Gospel. Like light, they are to illuminate with the brightness of Christ's love. As you intercede for Christians state-by-state, pray that they will be faithful witnesses of the Gospel, humble servants of Christ, and positive influences within their communities.
Does prayer really make a difference? Yes, it makes an extraordinary difference because God in His unlimited compassion responds to prayer offered in His name. As God's children and followers of Jesus Christ, we must urgently, faithfully pray for our nation and its people. Prayer can affect the course of history and shape the destiny of a nation. As you pray day by day following the plan in the Prayer Map of America you can be sure that your intercession can make a transformational difference.