From time to time, our pastor urges us to pray for our nation, but sometimes I wonder why we should bother. Does it really do any good? — D.McF.
Today is July 4, the day our nation pauses to remember the signing of the Declaration of Independence by our courageous forefathers. It's also a day when each of us should pause to thank God for the blessings He has granted us as a nation -- blessings we must never take for granted.
I commend your pastor for urging people to pray for our country. It's the most important thing we can do to secure our nation's future -- for unless we pray, we have no assurance that God will continue to bless us. Why should we pray for our nation and its leaders? One reason is because God has commanded it in His Word, the Bible. The Bible tells us to pray "for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives" (1 Timothy 2:2).
But praying for our nation also reminds us that we are dependent on God for everything we are and everything we have. Who gave us our natural resources? Who helped us defeat those who were determined to take away our freedoms? Who watches over us every day of our lives and safeguards us from the schemes of those who would destroy us? I can't help but recall King David's prayer many centuries ago: "Wealth and honor come from you.... In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all" (1 Chronicles 29:12).
Our nation isn't perfect -- but don't ever think it's useless to pray, for it's not. How much worse off would we be if people didn't pray? Take time to pray for our nation and its leaders -- both today, and every day.