Is It Time to Pray on Our Knees for Our Country?

August 1, 2022

President Abraham Lincoln, in a “National Proclamation of Prayer and Repentance” in 1863 wrote, “We have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”

Numerous times in our nation’s rich and glorious history we have come to those places of challenge where we have to take an accounting of what kind of nation we will be. It was when Ben Franklin called for prayer that our young nation’s leaders began to set aside their partisan differences and allowed God to guide them to write the greatest document of self-government ever written, our Constitution. The Civil War nearly shattered our young nation in two. The World Wars were times of testing as the world looked more and more to America for solutions. The 1960’s and the Vietnam War strained our nation in many difficult ways.

I believe we are in another one of those times right now. The ruling elite of both parties seem little concerned about constitutional government, and more concerned with building a system that protects them and their wealth while keeping the people under control with laws they don’t have to obey. They have no solutions to the rising struggles of inflation and recession that we face. Too many are enamored with the failed system of socialism. I would love to hear one of our government leaders call our country to prayer like President Lincoln did back in 1863.

President Lincoln believed deeply in the power of prayer. He also wrote, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go. My own wisdom, and all that is about me, seemed insufficient… One stormy night I tossed on my bed, unable to sleep as I thought of the terrible suffering of our soldiers… I spent an hour in agonizing prayer.”

I believe we are fast approaching that day when we as a nation will be truly tested. When that day comes I hope we will be quick to fall on our knees and beg almighty God to rescue us from our stupidity and arrogance, which seduced us into the squandering of our great wealth on unbiblical pursuits that have brought us to this point. I believe that it would be prudent for all those who look to Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior to start right now practicing praying for our nation and ask for a great revival to sweep across this land.

Prayers for our nation fall under the category of prayers for others, known as intercessory prayer. It is prayer that works in partnership with God. As such, intercessory prayer is very important. Jesus Christ taught it, lived it, and practiced it. We read in Matthew 18:19-20, “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Intercessory prayer is encouraged throughout the New Testament as a necessary and central part of a Christian’s journey of faith. It is not a petition to change God’s mind or to get God to focus on an unknown problem. Nor is it a magical incantation of human needs that require God’s closer attention. God can, and sometimes does operate outside the bounds of human invitation, but more often than not God waits for us to invite Him into our human situations and receive His richest blessings. Intercessory prayer opens the flood gates of God’s healing power, mercy, and love.

How often do you pray for our country, our president, our national and local leaders? How often do you pray for revival? How might God use your prayers for revival to open the flood gates of His mercy? How might God use your prayers for revival to change your heart and the way you look at the world? I know from many revival prayers I’ve lifted up over the decades that God will change you through your revival prayers. Revival is coming. Will you be ready? (To find out more about Pastor Earley or LaGrange Presbyterian Church see