Charisma Magazine




40 Days of Prayer for America

Written by Dave Butts

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Prayer is critical to any nation, especially one that proclaims a connection to God. The United States historically had claimed such a connection, but things have changed. The drift from our Judeo-Christian foundation is evident in almost every aspect of our society. Our only hope of returning to our biblical foundation is through prayer.

With the upcoming political elections possibly determining our nation’s future, imagine what could happen if the church stood unified in the spirit of 2 Chronicles 7:14. Beginning Sept. 28 through Nov. 6, you can join the masses crying out for 40 days for God to save America. What follows is a 40-day prayer guide to help you intercede in one of our nation’s most critical seasons ever. Use this guide however it helps you most—save this issue or tear out this section, put it by your Bible and pray these 40 different prayer emphases one by one.

If you’re more digitally inclined, you can also subscribe to a 40-day newsletter at 40daysofprayer .charismamag.com. We’ll send it to you daily to make it easier for you to pray whenever and wherever you are. It includes what you see in this article, plus more. Or you can use the Prayer tab on our free Charisma app, available at charismamobile.com.

More important than what resources you use to pray is that you indeed pray. With America at a crossroads, prayer is the only thing that will bring real change. Let’s not miss this opportunity.

Day 1

 Prophetic Church | “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” —Romans 12:2

Our nation doesn’t know it, but America needs the church. Not just as a bunch of good-deed doers, but as those who give direction for the future and who preserve and protect in the present. We’ve not done this well, but that is the place in which God has put us. We are to be light, helping people (and nations) avoid the pitfalls of darkness. We are to be salt, both as seasoning and protection for our society.

The nation cannot afford a sidelined church, taken out by worldliness and confusion. Paul commands us to allow ourselves no longer to be conformed by worldly patterns, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Only then we will understand the will of God, not just for our own lives, but so that we can be a prophetic voice to our nation.

Repent of the church’s failure to be light and salt in our society.

Pray for a transformation in the church through a renewing of our minds.

Ask the Lord for the church to rise up with a strong prophetic voice for America.

Day 2

IMMIGRATION | If there was ever a nation that understood what it means to be a refuge for the oppressed, it ought to be the U.S. As a nation comprised of immigrants and their descendants, we have been a land of refuge; yet we still struggle with what it means to open our national doors to others. But the Lord is a perfect refuge, a perfect stronghold in times of trouble. When a nation turns to God, He will be a refuge for them. Amid the chaos of current events—whether financial collapse, terrorism or war—how comforting it is to know that God wants to be a stronghold for our nation.

Ask the Lord to turn the hearts of America’s citizens and leaders to Himself as we wrestle with immigration policies.

Pray that our nation will increasingly see that God is our only refuge amid the troubles of this world.

Day 3

GOVERNMENT | A wise nation takes into account the Word of God as it makes laws. Even a cursory reading of the history of the founding of the United States demonstrates that our Founding Fathers seriously endeavored to base our nation’s laws on their strong Judeo-Christian beliefs. Secularists today often counter that many of those men were Deists and not strong Christians. Their own beliefs aside, our Founders, almost to a man, insisted that laws were based on divine revelation and not on human wisdom. A strong secularist, Thomas Jefferson said powerfully, “And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just:
that His justice cannot sleep for ever.”

Pray that the U.S. will repent of its corporate rejection of the Word of God as the basis of law.

Pray that a fear of God will sweep across our nation, leading us to a place of wisdom.

Pray that courage born of wisdom will be given to Christians in places of leadership in government, the courts and law schools across the nation so that they will stand for a godly basis for law.

Father, I give You thanks for the godly foundation of my nation. Forgive us for drifting from Your ways. Raise up a standard of righteousness across this nation that honors Your Word and exalts Your name!

Day 4

ABORTION |  “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” —Psalm 139:13-14

Nearly 55 million abortions have been performed in America since its legalization in 1973 following the historic Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Put in perspective, that’s 20 million more people than the nation’s most populous state, California. In fact, it would take almost 450 Hiroshima-like nuclear attacks to kill as many people as have been murdered in the U.S. through abortions since 1973. God’s heart is to see the act of abortion completely abolished, so we must pray adamantly that hearts and attitudes are drastically changed on every level, from the pregnant teenager to those in legislation.

Pray that the hearts of our Supreme Court justices are turned so that Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion is made illegal.

Pray for the hearts of women who have conceived, that Jesus convicts them about the new human life inside their bodies.

Pray that God’s love is heard when sharing opinions with those who do not agree.

Lord, you have conquered death with your resurrection. Therefore, in Your name we come against the forces of hell and the spirit of abortion that has gripped this country for the past 39 years. We break the spirit of indifference surrounding those who work at clinics that perform abortions. We pray that those women who are faced with this critical decision will seek Your guidance. May Your spirit of life reign in their hearts so that they not only see that abortion isn’t an alternative, but that You have made each life uniquely precious.

Day 5

FAMILY | The enemy’s attack on the family unit is anything but subtle these days. From legalized abortion to redefining marriage to high divorce rates to Internet porn addiction, Satan has successfully assaulted the family from all angles with an overt agenda to pull it apart and even negate its value. To combat these attacks, families must put Christ above all things and make Him a solid foundation. And no weapon is stronger in this war than prayer.

Pray that parents will adhere to Proverbs 22:6 and train their children in the ways of the Lord.

Pray that families won’t succumb to the worldly ideals coming from Hollywood, but instead stay true to biblical principles of living.

Day 6

Justice | Have you considered the fact that a nation committed to justice for all is a nation that God can bless? God is passionate about justice because it is in accordance with His nature to be just in all His dealings. When nations base their laws and institutions on principles of justice for all, the God of justice is pleased.

Of course, this means that the contrary is true as well. When injustice creeps in, it brings with it the displeasure of God. God especially seems to look out for the welfare of those whom society overlooks: the poor, the less privileged, the stranger and the outcast. The nation that wants the blessing of God will ensure justice for all.

Thank the Lord that He is a God of justice and shows no favoritism.

 Pray for our judicial system and lawmakers, that justice for all, tempered by mercy and compassion, will guide our nation.

I thank You, Lord, that You are perfectly just in all Your ways. You deal with us impartially, imparting justice while showing mercy and compassion. Help us to be like You in this way. Help us as a nation to offer justice to all and not discriminate in the way that justice is administered. I pray for the judicial system of this nation. Restore godliness to our courts. May a river of righteousness sweep across our nation.

Day 7

Justice | Have you considered the fact that a nation committed to justice for all is a nation that God can bless? God is passionate about justice because it is in accordance with His nature to be just in all His dealings. When nations base their laws and institutions on principles of justice for all, the God of justice is pleased.

Of course, this means that the contrary is true as well. When injustice creeps in, it brings with it the displeasure of God. God especially seems to look out for the welfare of those whom society overlooks: the poor, the less privileged, the stranger and the outcast. The nation that wants the blessing of God will ensure justice for all.

Thank the Lord that He is a God of justice and shows no favoritism.

 Pray for our judicial system and lawmakers, that justice for all, tempered by mercy and compassion, will guide our nation.

I thank You, Lord, that You are perfectly just in all Your ways. You deal with us impartially, imparting justice while showing mercy and compassion. Help us to be like You in this way. Help us as a nation to offer justice to all and not discriminate in the way that justice is administered. I pray for the judicial system of this nation. Restore godliness to our courts. May a river of righteousness sweep across our nation.

Day 8

national Security | Fear can paralyze a nation, or it can cause its people to react in inappropriate ways. In Deuteronomy 3:22, God gives us a direct command when we face our enemies: “Do not be afraid of them” (NIV). We don’t have to give in to fear. God promises to fight on our behalf—when a nation has committed itself to honor Him and follow His ways.

Ask the Lord to pour out a spirit of repentance on our nation.

Ask the Lord to help the United States to line up with His purposes so that He will choose to fight on our behalf.

Father, we turn from fear and turn to You. We indeed have enemies as a nation who seek our destruction. We have attempted to stand against them in our own strength, all the while rejecting Your lordship over us. Forgive us, Lord. Heal our land. Help us to turn back to You, so that You will fight for us.

Day 9

church UNITY  | “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.” —1 Corinthians 1:10 (ESV)

It’s been said that combining church denominations is comparable to mixing oil and water; they simply don’t mix. God’s will, however, is that His people be of one accord. Jesus prayed that we would “be one, just as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You” (John 17:21). First Peter 3:8 says, “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.” Think of what a mighty weapon a body of people united in Christ would be against the enemy!

Pray that denominational barriers are torn down and that believers stand as one in the body of Christ.

Pray that petty differences and the spirit of divisiveness—both tools of the enemy—are defeated in the name of Jesus.

Lord, we know it is Your divine will that the body of Christ stands in one accord. Protect us from the wiles of the enemy and help us to recognize his evil schemes so that we remain vigilant and stand together to fight against him. Let us be in harmony with each other as we walk in the fruit of Your Holy Spirit.

Day 10

WAITING ON GOD   | “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” —Psalm 130:5 (NIV) Ultimately, a nation that has learned to wait upon the Lord is a nation that has renewed its hope. No longer rushing about in response to the latest poll or whim, there is a dependence upon the Word of God and eternal matters. A sense of the solid and the stable replaces the fleeting fancies of our current status. Hope is removed from being a campaign slogan to being a lifestyle that centers on the Word of God.

Pray for the church in America to begin to model the stable lifestyle of waiting on the Lord.

Pray for a movement of the Spirit that creates a dramatic cultural transformation in the United States, bringing about a nation that has learned to put its hope in the Word of God.

Lord, it isn’t easy to wait. Forgive me for not waiting on You and for running ahead to do those things that seem good to me. Teach Your church to be a good model of those who don’t rush into every trend or fashion but who have learned to wait upon You. Lord, show us how waiting on You isn’t an activity, but rather an active lifestyle of drawing near and of keeping our eyes upon You. May You so transform Your church that it flows over into the life of this nation. Slow us down, Lord. Teach us to wait on You, so that Your purposes and plans might be lived out in America.

Day 11

Finances  | “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” —Matthew 6:21 What are we seeking as a nation? God or gold? We’ve often been known as a nation interested more in money and things than in God and people. This attitude has infected the church as well as the nation. Undoubtedly, the love of money is a major idol in the U.S. standing in the way of another great move of God in our midst.

Ask the Lord to reveal clearly to you where your treasure is.

In Jesus’ name, tear down the idol of Mammon (money) that has taken up residence in America.

Day 12

RELIGIOUS LIBERTIES | According to the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” The Pilgrims escaped from England in the early 1600s for that very reason, but it wasn’t until the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791 that the ideal would come to fruition. Our Founding Fathers considered freedom of religion to be a fundamental human right, but it has come under fire in recent years by those who cite the concept of separation of church and state.

Pray that our freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment, including that of religion, remain protected.

Pray that our government officials do not use their power for their own agenda, and that they respect the ideals of our nation’s Founding Fathers.

Father, we know that You are sovereign and in control of everything. Forgive us for taking the simple things for granted, such as those freedoms guaranteed in our nation’s Constitution. Help us to stand up and fight for our freedoms while glorifying You every step of the way.

Day 13

Same-sex marriage | Same-sex marriage has been one of the hot-button issues around the country throughout the year and heading into the November election. Six of the 50 states in the U.S. have legalized same-sex marriage, and gay-rights advocates continue to push for laws to make it legal nationally.

Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, along with other Scriptures (e.g., Deut. 23:17, 1 Cor. 6:9-10), clearly state God’s position on the issue, which is not open for interpretation. God defines marriage as being between one man and one woman—period. It’s unfortunate that even those within the church claim otherwise, yet believers must stand firm on biblical standards while also walking in love and compassion for those struggling with same-sex attraction. We must also pray in unity for our nation’s leaders not to be intimidated by activists trying to redefine the fundamental building block of our society.

Pray that Jesus convicts the hearts of those in the homosexual community and helps them escape from that lifestyle—and that believers will love them into the kingdom instead of condemning them.

Pray that advocates of traditional marriage are able to witness effectively to those advocating same-sex marriage with Jesus’ love and kind words.

Pray that the hearts of our country’s leaders are convicted and that they come to realize that God’s truth must be our standard, not a minority’s agenda.

Lord, we repent of our wicked ways as a nation when it comes to distorting your definition of marriage. Cleanse us from our unrighteousness. Help us as believers to walk in Your love, even when our biblical values oppose others. Forgive us for when we have judged the sinner and not the sin, and give us strength to stand up for Your truth.

Day 14

Politics  |  We often forget that it was the politics of His day that were the immediate cause of Jesus’ death. The Roman occupation of Israel, coupled with the jockeying for power among several Jewish sects, created a tension that simply couldn’t allow for a popular miracle-working preacher who offended all of the powers that were present. Much of Jesus’ teaching dealt with how to live in such a politically tense situation.

As we look at Hebrews 12:2, we are reminded how hard it was for Jesus as He struggled with the political system of His day. It led to a cross. We can’t assume that just because we pray for our nation everything will immediately get better and we’ll all live happily ever after. The truth is, though our prayers can and do make a difference, we must still pay a price.

Fix your eyes on Jesus and thank Him for enduring the cross on our behalf.

Ask the Lord to show you how to pray for our nation—especially a political system that seems increasingly ineffective.

Day 15

Nuclear WAR  | “‘No weapon formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is from Me,’ says the Lord.” —Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV)
We live in a day of terrible weaponry. A push of a button from far away can destroy whole cities. No longer is war confined to the combatants, but to entire populations. Years ago, President Ronald Reagan directed our military scientists to develop a shield to protect us, especially from nuclear attack. The “Star Wars” shield certainly could provide some protection, but it couldn’t keep us from all attacks. What if there was something (Someone) who could shield us from all attack? The promise of God to His people is astonishing.

No one would suggest that the Scripture above from Isaiah gives a nation some kind of divine protection from physical weaponry or attack. On the other hand, men and women of God through the years have stood upon this verse to handle the attacks of Satan and have experienced the astonishing protection of God.

What if the unified church began to pray prayers of spiritual protection over our nation? Could we as believers, in prayer, blunt the attempt of the enemy of our souls to sideline our nation and remove us from our place in God’s plan?

Thank the Lord for His promise of protection for the servants of the Lord.

Ask the Lord to raise up a shield of protection over our nation.

In the name of Jesus, declare a resistance against the enemy’s attacks on the godly foundations of the United States.

Father, Your promises are always sure. Thank You that You give Your servants the privilege of walking in victory and refuting every word spoken against us. Now, Lord, help us in wisdom to do this on behalf of our nation. Lord, awaken Your people out of apathy and help us to stand against the attacks of Satan against our nation. May no weapon of the enemy prevail against our nation, but may each of those weapons come to naught against our Shield and Deliverer!

Day 16

Spiritual Warfare  | “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God, and you will be saved from your enemies.” —Numbers 10:9 The above Scripture speaks of fighting battles within our own land. And though it was written to Israel, we are certainly in a war in our own land. There is a war in the spirit realm for the soul of America.

Trumpet blasts typically called the Lord’s people together for battle. But the blowing of trumpets (shofars) was also a call to prayer. Today, I believe the two are merged into one. The trumpet is being blown to fight this battle on our knees.

Thank the Lord for His promise of remembering us and of rescuing us from our enemies.

Lord, awaken Your people to the reality of what the enemy is doing to destroy our foundations. Let us heed the trumpet’s call to pray as never before, and help us not to wage war in the flesh but in the spirit.

Day 17

POVERTY  | “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” —Matthew 6:33 (NIV) In a culture that continually strives for more and more, these are radical words. Rather than focusing on our clothes, food or shelter, Jesus said our focus must be on the things of God. With a proper focus on God’s kingdom, we will live in a nation that can care for those who are hurting and still have abundance. This won’t happen because the government has mandated, but because we are seeking first that which is eternal and are then content to allow the Lord to provide everything else we need.

Pray for a right focus in America—back to God and away from material things.

Pray for the church to be the hands and feet of Christ as we minister to those in need, both spiritually and materially.

Pray for a spirit of seeking God first to pervade the church in America.

Day 18

PEACE  |    In John 16:33, Jesus speaks of peace and trouble in the same phrase. We will assuredly encounter trouble, whether on an individual basis (illness, finances, etc.) or a national scale (war, economic crisis, etc.). Yet our peace can be found not by avoiding trouble, but in embracing the Prince of Peace. The peace Jesus spoke of is literally a commodity given to those who follow Him. It is intended to mark His followers. His disciples will be those who have experienced His peace in their own lives and who seek to bring it to the nation in which they live.

Pray that you will be a person who brings the peace of Christ into others’ lives.

Pray that the church in America will live in such a way that the peace of Christ comes into the councils of our nation.

Forgive me, Lord, when I walk in anxiety and stress, failing to allow Your peace to rule in my life. Breathe Your peace into my heart. Help me to bring that peace with me into every situation. Lord, may Your peace so pervade Your church in America that it begins to mark us as a nation. Help us in a miraculous way to experience Your peace amid these troubling times.

Day 19

 Social Justice | “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.” —Isaiah 1:17

The church must emulate Jesus, who always sought out the least and the lowest. If we listen to Isaiah and seek justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless and plead the case of the widow, we would be thought of in a much better way in our society. We might not have such nice buildings or such fancy programs, but our reputation would surely be better. And our nation would be changed!

Ask the Lord to show you those who are hurting and need you to reach out to them with the love of Jesus. Pray for a spirit of compassion to come over the church in the U.S. so that we will begin seriously to live out the lifestyle of Jesus in our communities.

Ask Him for the strength of His Holy Spirit to enable you to obey His Word.

Pray for a fresh wave of the fear of the Lord to fall upon the church in America.

 Lord, forgive us. We have so often made church about us and our needs and wants. In the process we have ignored those who were hurting right down the street from our buildings. Please help us to see people, really see them, as You do.

Day 20

GENEROSITY | “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” Acts 20:35 (ESV)

God never has and never will need our wealth. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He is Spirit and needs none of the things we need. Giving to the Lord has never been about His needs, but ours. We need to honor the Lord with our wealth. Giving back to God is about restoring our understanding of God as our provider. It places us firmly under His care and lordship.

When the church in a nation tithes to God and recognizes His provision, that nation is blessed. God is honored, and we find ourselves in a place where God can begin to trust us with more because we are correctly using what He already has given us. Could much of the our nation’s economic turbulence be caused by the failure of God’s people to honor Him with their wealth? The average Christian gives 2.7 percent to his or her church! What might happen in our nation as we offer ourselves and our wealth back to the Lord?

Ask the Lord if you are properly honoring Him with your wealth.

Pray for a spirit of generosity to well up within the church in America.

Pray for God to be honored as we give abundantly and with right attitudes to Him.

Father, I thank You that You are the giver of every good and perfect gift. All that we have comes from Your hand. I am grateful to you. Help me, Lord, to honor You with my wealth, and to give back with a joyful spirit. Please pour out a spirit of generosity within the lives of Your people, so that You might be honored and our nation might be blessed.

Day 21

 Israel  |  “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May they prosper who love you.’” —Psalm 122:6 (ESV)

Throughout Scripture we are told to bless Israel and the Jewish people. Simultaneously Israel has long been at the center of wars and rumors of war. It is disheartening to see the threats of violence and bloodshed that have become a part of everyday life for those living in the city of Christ’s return. We must continue to pray for the peace of Jerusalem as the news media highlights war brewing between Israel and Iran.

Ask the Lord for peace and protection for the inhabitants of Israel.

Pray that the truth of God’s Word would shine brightly in this region.

Pray that salvation would be brought to the Jewish people living in this nation and throughout the world.

Lord, please extend your mercy and grace to Israel. We ask You to bless its people and cause them to prosper. Let its leaders turn to You, Jesus, for hope and protection and not trust in man.

Day 22

 God’s Wrath  | “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness.” —Romans 1:18

Do you suppose that the above verse, speaking of the wrath of God, is true for every nation except the United States? Is there some way that we are somehow exempt from the wrath of God? We don’t like to think about this, but the truth is that there is no exempt nation. Godlessness and wickedness will attract God’s wrath of God, both for individuals as well as for a nation. When godlessness and wickedness are embraced by a nation, then the wrath of God will be directed against that nation.

In the last 50 years, we’ve seen a serious attempt at suppressing the truth in the U.S. An artificial wall of separation between church and state has been built with the intent of removing God completely from the public square. And this is just one of the ways that truth is suppressed. Because of this, according to the Word of God, the wrath of God is being revealed.

There are a number of ways we can pray over such situations. First, we ask that God’s wrath bring about its purpose of leading people to repentance. Ask that our sufferings not be wasted but be brought to their redemptive purposes. We should also ask that God’s truth be restored to public consciousness and acceptance, so that there be no
divorce between the spiritual and secular.

Repent on behalf of our nation because we have allowed the suppression of God’s truth.

Pray that God’s wrath on the wicked will bring about repentance.

Ask the Lord for a boldness in the church to stand for truth in our nation

Father, I tremble as I read Your Word today. I fear for my nation as I see godlessness and wickedness on the rise and the increased suppression of truth. I pray for mercy in the midst of Your wrath. Pour out a spirit of repentance, that the people of America may turn our hearts back to You.

Day 23

Wisdom  | “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” —Proverbs 4:6 (NIV)

Biblically speaking, wisdom is looking at things from God’s perspective and making the right choices based on that perspective. How critical it is for a nation that wants to experience God’s protection to love and embrace wisdom. As the United States increasingly accepts a secular mindset and rejects divine revelation as a basis for our laws, we move further away from the protection offered by wisdom.

Thank God for the gift of wisdom, and for the ability to see things from His perspective as we turn to His Word.

Repent on behalf of our nation, because we have turned from making Scripture the basis of law, leaving behind wisdom, and looking to ourselves for truth.

Father, we ask You for wisdom this day. We embrace the wisdom from above that allows us to see matters from Your perspective.

Day 24

 
Racism | “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” —Galatians 3:28 (NIV) In Luke 10, Jesus uses the parable of the Good Samaritan to give us a model of how  to treat one another. He has made it clear that we should love our neighbor, without regard for their race.

Though we’ve come a long way with race relations in America, there is still work to be done—as the nationwide race-related protests to the tragic Trayvon Martin shooting earlier this year proved. The church must lead the way in racial reconciliation, setting an example of unity that crosses ethnic and social lines.

Pray that God would reveal and remove any area of racism in your heart.

Pray that there would be unity in the body of Christ among races, so we might be a model to the whole nation of true reconciliation in Christ.

Day 25

 Godliness |  “Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let him who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on his God.” —Isaiah 50:10  The Bible tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning place for wisdom. That just might qualify us for being one of the least wise places ever. We live in a day when even something as basic as the Ten Commandments is being removed from public places. This is simply foolish. Perhaps it is time once again to begin to teach and preach about the fear of the Lord.

Come before the Lord, confessing that you are one who fears Him.

Ask Him for the strength of His Holy Spirit to enable you to obey His Word.

Pray for a fresh wave of the fear of the Lord to fall upon the church in America.

Father, I come before You with fear and trembling. It is because of Your great mercy and love that I fear You. I know You are always right in Your judgments. Help me to be one who obeys Your Word. Enable me through Your Spirit to do what I hear. Lord, our nation needs the moral and spiritual backbone of a people who fear You. May the fear of the Lord fall upon Your people!

Day 26

WEALTH AND PROSPERITY | “Better a little with the fear of the Lord than great wealth with turmoil.” —Proverbs 15:16 Is there a better picture of the truth of this passage than Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol? Poor Bob Cratchit with son Tiny Tim and his impoverished family are filled with joy and faith, contrasted with wealthy Ebenezer Scrooge’s miserable existence. The novel isn’t so much against money as it is failing to live a life that uses what we have for others.

The U.S. is in a curious place regarding wealth. We have affluence that is virtually unimaginable. Our ethics regarding the ways we obtain wealth are often highly suspect. Yet, for all our failings in this area, we’re a nation known for generosity. When tragedy strikes, the greatness of America’s generosity kicks in. We have sent American dollars around the world to help those in need. We even provide tax credits for those who give charitably. Yet we can do better—not just in giving, but in our attitudes toward wealth.

Repent for any greed or wrong attitudes concerning money.

Pray for an increased spirit of generosity in the church.

Ask the Lord to pour our godly fear of the Lord throughout our land.

Day 27

 Purity  | “Joshua told the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.’” —Joshua 3:5

Who of us would not like to see the Lord do amazing things in our midst? We certainly need that supernatural work of God in our nation today. Israel received that promise; yet it was a conditional promise. God would do miraculous things if His people consecrated themselves.

Our nation desperately needs a consecrated church, a people set aside for the Lord’s purposes. We are the way God has chosen to communicate His will to nations. But if we are not a consecrated, holy people, the communication becomes garbled and mixed with our unholiness. As you pray today, would you consecrate yourself, so that we might see the Lord do amazing things in our midst?

Repent of a lack of consecration and purpose in your life.

Pray for a spirit of consecration and holiness to be spread throughout the church in America.

Father, I am so grieved over my lack of consecration. I have believed and loved You, but I’ve been trying to do Your work in my own strength, and so often for my own purposes. In the name of Jesus, I consecrate myself unto Your purposes. Here I am, Lord. Use me as You will. And what I pray for myself, I pray for Your church. Lord, help us to be holy. Our nation desperately needs a holy people to speak Your Word in these days. Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon us that we might be empowered to be used by You. Lord, we need You to do amazing things in our midst.

Day 28

Education | Lascivious behavior, drugs and alcohol have all become strongholds within the American school system. At the same time, we’ve removed prayer and Scripture from curriculum. Is it any wonder why U.S. students are losing academic ground in comparison to other young people around the world?

We must ask God to forgive us for pushing Him out of our schools. As we ask for His presence to be restored in schools, know that He is able to promote leaders in the education system who fear Him and will fight to return godly principles to the classroom. Let’s commit to praying for godly teachers and administrators.

 Pray that God would protect our students from the attacks of the enemy.

Pray that educators would teach godly principles.

Pray that our government officials would be able to make wise decisions with regard to our children.

Day 29

 Truth | Jesus declared in John 8:32, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” A nation must believe truth. The authors of our Declaration of Independence appealed to certain self-evident truths. A love of truth is seen as essential to our rights and liberty. These days, it seems that truth often takes a backseat to partisan bickering and positioning. Those who pray for the nation must learn to love truth and pray for it to come forth in power.

Pray for truth to become valued again in American society.

Pray for truth to be an established standard in our country’s news media.

I thank You, Lord, that You are the Truth! You are the only one able to set men free. Thank You for the freedom we have in You. I thank You that many of our Founding Fathers understood that freedom ultimately is a gift from You and therefore is dependent upon Your truth. Please restore truth to our nation. Lord, expose the lies of the enemy! Bring a fresh love for truth to those who report the news. Give discernment to those who watch, listen or read the news, so that truth might always prevail.

Day 30

Repentance  |“Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal my people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security.” —Jeremiah 33:6 There is a real wave of discouragement and despondency sweeping through America these days. For many, it seems as though our nation is on the path of no return. There is a legitimate concern that we have drifted too far from God and that we might never again see a nationwide spiritual awakening. It certainly is possible for a people to go too far in their rebellion.

But I do not believe the United States is yet at that point. The Lord has many who are crying out to Him. While a global prayer movement is emerging like never before, there is also a growing movement of prayer here in America that is focusing on repentance and turning back to God. (Check out OneCry.com for an encouraging viewpoint.)

God’s Word to Judah many years ago was both bad news and good news. The people were going to suffer for their rebellion against God. But amid those tough times, God made a promise showing that He wasn’t done with Judah. He promised health, peace and security to a people who didn’t deserve it. But such is His mercy and love—both then and today!

Make a commitment to pray daily for a spirit of repentance to come upon the church in the United States.

Thank the Lord that His mercy triumphs over judgment.

Pray for healing, peace and security for this nation.

Lord, we certainly deserve Your judgment. As a nation, we have sinned against You in virtually every way. We have deliberately tried to remove You from public life. We have squandered wealth, chosen convenience over life, abused the weak, dishonored the poor, and allowed our prejudices and hatreds to divide us. Forgive us! Instead of judgment, pour out Your mercy. We need the healing that only You can provide. Bring again to our nation Your health, Your peace and Your security.

Day 31

 Freedom | “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” —Galatians 5:1 Freedom has a high value in God’s kingdom—not a freedom to do as you please, but rather a freedom to please God. Freedom is a gift of God and is to be treasured. As you pray for America, pray that the spirit of freedom would be rekindled. Paul encouraged the Galatians to “stand firm” against any attempt to take away their freedom. There are certainly many today who fear that our freedom to live lives pleasing to God is being eroded by growing governmental control over many aspects of our lives. Praying for freedom is praying a kingdom value into our nation.

Pray for vigilance over any erosion of freedom.

Pray that we will not again be burdened with the yoke of slavery.

Thank You, Lord, that You have set us free from bondage. Thank You for the founders of our nation who built that love and respect for freedom into the core of who we are.

Day 32

 Envy And Selfish Ambition | “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.” —James 3:16

James speaks with authority and insight as he points out what will happen to a society or group when people begin to envy each other and have ambition that puts self ahead of others. The result is a breakdown of society in which you find disorder and all kinds of evil practices. This can and does happen in local churches, social groups, etc.

As bad as that is, it becomes even more devastating when it happens at a national level. Ultimately, this is a spiritual problem and the only solution is spiritual. America needs Jesus and needs Him badly!

Ask the Lord to reveal if you are holding on to any envy or selfish ambition. If so, repent of it now.

Pray for the salvation of those who are in leadership of our nation. Ask the Lord to remove all envy and selfish ambition from them.
Day 33

Scandal | “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” —Ephesians 5:11

Most serious political scandals involve cover-ups. It isn’t always the misdeed that’s the worst, so much as the lying and manipulation of trying to hide it from the public. Cover-ups always try to keep things in darkness, away from the light where people can really see what has happened.

Followers of Jesus ought to hate cover-ups. We’re called to be children of the light, avoiding the deeds of darkness. Darkness doesn’t push back light; it’s simply the absence of light. It’s time to shine, church. It’s time for the light of Christ to be lived out in our neighborhoods, schools and cities. We don’t need to rail against the darkness; we just need to shine. The Light of the world lives within us, and our nation desperately needs His light to shine in every dark corner.

Ask the Lord to shine through you today so others will see Him in all that you do.

Pray for an explosion of light in the church, transforming to our communities.

Pray that our leaders in both government and the church understand that they are examples and live up to their responsibilities with godly character.

Thank You, Light of the World, for coming to live in me. Shine brightly in me today. Forgive me for hiding Your light. Forgive me for the times when I preferred the shadows to the brilliance of Your presence. Shine through Your church in America. Help us to live and to love as You did, so that the darkness in our land will flee and Your light will shine.

Day 34

 Legislation | What makes a nation great? Its military forces or its growing economy? Great natural resources or an industrious people? All of those certainly contribute to the greatness that nations strive for. But the Bible shows us a different perspective. It’s a fascinating national concept found buried in Deuteronomy 4:6-8, which proves the greatness of a nation is directly related to the righteousness of its laws and rules.

As our nation began, our laws were made in recognition of God. Even though a number of our Founding Fathers were not active Christians, they all had a respect for the laws of God and literally based the new nation’s laws upon what they considered divine law. God blessed their decision, and greatness was achieved.

Over the years the making and understanding of law has drifted from that strong godly perspective. Increasingly, lawmakers are looking to other nations or cultural trends for guidelines in laws. It could be argued that our greatness as a nation is drifting with that trend. It’s time to begin praying for a return to laws that have their basis in God’s Word.

Thank God for a good foundation for this nation in the nature of its laws, and pray for a return to that solid foundation.

Pray for the judges of this nation, that they would seek God’s wisdom.

Day 35

 Economy | America’s economy has declined at a rapid pace in recent years. The housing market has plummeted, stocks have spiraled, major industries have neared implosion and unemployment has soared. As believers, however, our trust is in God and not our current resources—whether in a recession or a boom. We remember how Christ provided for the multitude using only two fish and five loaves of bread. We can’t forget how God provided for the widow in 2 Kings 4. And we know God can change our economy in a blink of the eye—all for His glory.

Pray that our government and industry leaders will gain wisdom to create godly legislation to revitalize the economy.

Pray that the church would trust in God’s provision regardless of the economy.

Lord, we pray that You would give our nation’s government and industry leaders wisdom to cause our economy to prosper for Your purposes. We ask that You provide jobs and resources for Your people, so we may be testimonies of Your faithfulness to those who don’t know You.

Day 36

Revival | “The people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.” —Matthew 4:16 America needs the light of Christ once again. We need the fires of revival to burn brightly again. It’s time to proclaim to those dwelling in darkness that the Light has come! To see true transformation in the nation will require massive church planting and church revitalization. Those dwelling (in America) in the land of the shadow of death must hear the good news that a light has dawned in our land once again.

Pray that the churches in your community and area will preach the gospel of Christ powerfully.

Ask the Lord to bring revival to the church in America.

Father, our nation needs the light of the gospel once again. In so many places, a stagnant church has made the Good News seem like stale, old news. Forgive us for not handling correctly what has been entrusted to us. Bring new life and light to Your church.

Day 37

 Leadership and Judgment |  “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” —2 Corinthians 5:10

I remember the day, more than 30 years ago, when I had to stand before a judge to hear his judgment. At issue was an argument over whether I lived in the right district to run for a particular elective office. Even though I hadn’t done anything wrong, I still felt anxious. No one likes to hear judgment passed on them. (By the way, I won that case.)

We don’t like to think about judgment. But Scripture is explicit that every person on the planet will stand before Christ to be judged. Though our salvation is dependent upon whether Christ is our Savior and Lord, our actions as individuals in life certainly factor into things eternally in a way that we don’t fully comprehend.

How does knowing this fact change the way you pray for governmental leaders and those in authority when you recognize that they, too, must stand before the judgement seat of Christ? We are not called to be accusers but intercessors. The picture of the judgement seat of Christ should drive us to our knees in passionate prayer for our nation’s leaders.

Thank the Lord for paying the price for your redemption.

Pray for the salvation of local and national government leaders.

Father, I know that You are the ultimate Judge over all mankind and that You have turned judgment over to Your Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Thank You, Lord, that I face judgment without fear because of Your love for me that brought me into Your family and forgave all of my sins. But, Lord, I fear for the many who do not know You and face a fearful judgment. Help me to pray for those who so desperately need You.

Day 38

Health care | The Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, has stirred a divisive, heated debate that continues to be fought in the courtrooms of our nation. For Christians, the moral dilemma is huge, as we could be legally forced to partake in a system that financially supports the killing of babies.

With astronomical health care prices, it’s obvious this is not an easy fix. We need government leaders who will implement a just health care plan rather than simply trying to please everyone. We must also pray that a solution will arise that does not force Christians to fund abortion.

Pray for wisdom for lawmakers to create just legislation for everyone across the U.S. population.

Pray for wisdom and discipline to care for the body God has given you.

In Jesus’ name, renounce the spirit of abortion that is affecting legislators as they reform our nation’s health care system.

Day 39

 Humility  | “This is the one I esteem: he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.” —Isaiah 66:2  All too often Americans are seen as arrogant or prideful. Years ago, there was a book entitled The Ugly American that told of how Americans in the foreign service often perpetuated that view. It’s time for a new reputation for Americans that is in line with what God desires. But before you nod in passive agreement and move on, consider where pride has seeped into your own life. It’s a deep-rooted sin for us.

A spiritual revolution in America will take place when we walk in humility before God and each other. We will find ourselves in a place of receiving blessing from God when we have a contrite spirit. And we can expect revival throughout the land when the church is filled with those who tremble at His Word!

Humble yourself before the Lord in prayer this day, and recognize the great need you have to be one who trembles at the Word of God.

Pray for another Great Awakening to sweep the nation as the Lord’s people learn to humble themselves.

Day 40

 Intercession | The story of Esther becoming queen at a crucial time in the history of the Jewish people has inspired many through the years. The Jews faced annihilation at the hands of their enemies. Esther risked her life if she spoke out, but her cousin Mordecai’s words gave her the courage she needed. He appealed to the timing of her part in this drama, “for such a time as this” (Esth. 4:14).

Like Esther, we live in perilous times in which our nation is under assault from foreign enemies and from those within who have failed to understand the critical role of the Christian faith to the greatness of America. It is a situation that cannot simply be fixed by a new leader, new plan or different strategy. We need the intervention of God!

God steps in when His people passionately ask Him to. The most important thing Christians can do for America is to pray. In these days of distress, the Lord is raising up a people who will intercede with faith and fervency! You are answering the call.

Pray for discernment of the days in which we live and to know how you should pray.

Pray for a spirit of prayer to come over the church.

Father, thank You that You hear us when we call. Give us an understanding of the times in which we live and Your purposes for our nation. Align our prayers with Your desires.

Dave Butts is the chairman of America’s National Prayer Committee and also president and founder of Harvest Prayer Ministries, which helps to encourage prayer in churches. Dave has served, and continues to serve, in numerous leadership capacities and on boards of directors and committees, such as the Denominational Prayer Leaders’ Network. Parts of this article were adapted from his book, Desperate for Change: 40 Days of Prayer for America (PrayerShop Publishing, prayershop.org).

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