Pray for the United States

The apostle Paul, writing to his protégé Timothy, and to those who would follow in his footsteps, instructed all Christ-followers:

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

It seems difficult today to pray for the United States without descending into political or social controversy. This prayer, based on one voiced regularly in many American houses of worship, captures Paul’s admonition, the spirit and traditions of our country over these past two plus centuries, and our position of influence in the modern world.

May we suggest to our fellow U.S. citizens and residents that we join in praying this prayer aloud at least several times in the next week. We further suggest you make this or a similar prayer a regular part of your time with God.

“Our God and God of our ancestors: We ask Your blessings for our country — for its government, for its leaders and advisers, and for all who exercise just and rightful authority. Teach them insights from Your [word] that they may administer all affairs of state fairly, that peace and security, happiness and prosperity, justice and freedom may forever abide in our midst.

“Creator of all flesh, bless all the inhabitants of our country with Your spirit. May citizens of all races and creeds forge a common bond in true harmony, to banish hatred and bigotry and to safeguard the ideals and free institutions that are the pride and glory of our country.

“May this land, under Your providence be an influence for good throughout the world, uniting people in peace and freedom — helping to fulfill the vision of Your prophet: 'Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they experience war anymore'.”