With the increase of opposition to Biblical Christianity in America some Christian’s have begun to wonder if we should even be praying for this nation.
Two different rationales are behind this question. Some see the moral corruption of the United States and conclude that it is under the judgment of God. If God is judging America wouldn’t praying for God to bless America be contrary to His will?
Some read the New Testament and realize the world will plummet further and further down in wickedness. The worldwide depravity will increase until it reaches its peak under the reign of the Antichrist. In the end God will bring judgment on the world through a series of horrible catastrophes. The judgment of God will be completed by the retunring Jesus who will conquer the Antichrist and will then bring all living men before Him for individual judgment. Since the world is on this unalterable collision course with Divine wrath, what is the point of praying for God to stay His judgment?
The mercy of God teaches Christians to pray for America and for the world. God delays His coming so men will have opportunity to repent. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Though God will bring judgment on this world He desires that all should turn to Him. We should pray in accord with God’s delight in repentanceTHe book of Ezekiel says that God does not delight in the death of the wicked. He delights in the repentance of sinners. We should delight in the same and pray for the repentance of our nation.
Christians are commanded to pray for governments and for all men. The Roman Empire of the first century was more wicked and more hostile to Christians than America has ever been. To those living under the rule of debauched Rome God commaned, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 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 2:1-2) When Jerusalem was captured by the Babylonians God commanded them “And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the LORD for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7) Enslaved Israel was taught to pray for the peace and prosperity of her captor. God had had already foretold Babylon would be judged but still commanded the Israelites to pray for Babylon’s peace. Christian’s today should pray for the peace, not trouble, of our nation that we might live peaceful lives that further the preaching of the gospel.
Basic Christian compassion motivates prayer for our nation. All of God’s commands can be summed up in the phrase, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Even those Christians who feel that America has turned again them should be praying for America. Jesus said in Matthew 6, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Christian’s ought to pray for this nation because we sincerely desire blessing and salvation for those around us.