Effectual, biblical prayer is a most amazing thing. It is a petition to the Highest Power. It is a direct line. It doesn’t have to go through any channels. It doesn’t depend on elections or political alliances. It requires no kind of majority. No one can stop it, not by mocking, by legislation, by demonstrations, by threats, or by riots. Atheists and Communists and “woke” universities and God-hating global corporations can’t stop it.
I believe in effectual, biblical prayer. For 47 years since I was saved, I have seen God answer prayer, one after the other, little prayers and big prayers, year in and year out. We have seen lives supernaturally changed, bills miraculously paid, magazines founded, books published, visas miraculously provided, doors opened that were shut tight, Maoist insurgencies confounded, churches established in very dark places, Bible colleges built, babies conceived, sicknesses healed, marriages righted, children go the right way, rebels repent, drunks and druggers converted, demon-possessed delivered, and many other things. We have every reason to believe in prayer.
Our Father which art in heaven, we come through the blood of your Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
We want to obey you in praying “for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2).
We thank you for America, which has been such a bastion of liberty, such a gospel light to the ends of the earth, such a nation of “the Book” in a unique way, such a “land of opportunity.”
We acknowledge America’s wickedness and unworthiness of your mercy. We acknowledge that you are just in withholding your blessing and in exercising judgment. We know that America has sinned against great light. We know that the vast majority of the churches that name the name of Christ are either apostate or are lukewarm and worldly, and this is the fundamental problem. We know that the popular Christianity of America is the apostasy we read about in Scripture. “Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof ... For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables” (2 Timothy 3:5; 4:3-4).
We claim no righteousness of our own, but we claim the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ which has been put to our account by your free grace, so we know that we can pray in confidence that your ears are open. We are told, “The eyes of the LORD are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry” (Psalm 34:15). We are told, “Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1 John 3:21-22). We are told, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (1 John 5:14-15). We are told, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you” (1 Peter 5:7). We are told, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). We know these verbs are present tense and thus signify continuous tense, so we ask and keep on asking, and we seek and keep on seeking, and we knock and keep on knocking.
We pray for mercy from the God who is rich in mercy.
We pray that we can live quiet and peaceable lives (1 Timothy 2:2).
We pray for godliness to prevail in the churches and honesty to prevail in society (1 Timothy 2:2).
We pray that you will deliver us from evil and from the evil one (Matthew 6:13), that you will confound the wicked and frustrate their purposes.
We pray that you will deliver us from unreasonable and wicked men (2 Thessalonians 3:2).
We pray that you will give wisdom and divine help to our president, our congressmen, our judges, our governors, our mayors. We pray that you will bless those who seek to follow our Constitution and thwart those who seek to tear it down.
We pray that you will confound anarchists. We pray that you will give wisdom to and encourage our law enforcers. We pray that they will prevail over the lawless, for you have said that you have ordained the powers that be and they are empowered to be “a terror to the evil” and “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:3, 4).
We pray that the current crises will impel a great many churches to wake up and be the pillar and ground of the truth that you have ordained, that they will repent of lukewarmness and worldliness and and frivolousness and walk in holiness and obedience and true pilgrim Christianity, preaching a pure gospel far and wide, discipling every believer, building godly homes, raising up a godly seed for your eternal glory, training effectual preachers, founding new churches. We pray that you will bless community after community with sound, life-changing New Testament churches, pastors that will preach the Scriptures fearlessly and without compromise, churches that will stand against the world, the flesh, and the devil in all of its subtle forms and not kowtow before Nashville or Hollywood or surrender to Facebook.
We pray that you will bring Spirit-wrought conviction and repentance and saving faith to many souls (1 Timothy 2:3-6). We pray for the salvation of many immigrants who have settled in America from far-flung places yet still abide in pagan darkness.
We pray that you will push back atheism and agnosticism and communism.
Father, we don’t ask for justice, we ask for mercy. We don’t ask these things for ourselves; we ask them for your eternal glory in Jesus Christ.
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