A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America: The Exceptionalism of God

“Surely his salvation is near those who fear him, that his glory may dwell in our land” (Psalm 85:9).

This verse gives a Divine viewpoint on what God desires for a nation. God longs for His glory to dwell in our land. What an astonishing perspective! Especially when you consider that God’s glory ultimately is His Presence. God wants a nation in which His Presence (glory) is welcome and sensed.

Now that is a compelling vision for passionate prayer! No longer a nebulous murmuring of “God bless America,” but a cry for the Presence of God to be known in the United States. Rather than a prideful assertion of the exceptionalism of America, it is a humble affirmation of the exceptionalism of God.

Some might want to argue at this point that Psalm 85 was an expression of prayer appropriate for the Jewish nation but not for other nations. Certainly many errors are made today by those who pull the commands and promises clearly intended for physical Israel out of context and try to apply them to current situations today. But scripture is very clear that the Old Testament is written for us as well, and it is accurate to take principles of how God deals with people and nations from his actions toward Israel.

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The Lord clearly desires for His Glory to dwell in a nation where many of His people live. Regardless of which numbers you use, there are millions of followers of Jesus in the United States. God’s purpose is for His Glory to dwell in our nation, not to the exclusion of other nations, but alongside others who seek the same.

Lord God Almighty! We cry out for Your Presence to dwell in our land and in every nation on the face of the earth! Give us hearts of humility, a desire to make You famous and fresh resolve to represent You well in every word and action. We want You alone to be high and lifted up across our land.

–Adapted from With One Cry: A Renewed Challenge to Pray for America by David Butts. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

Prayer Points

Praise God as the one worthy of the worship of our entire lives (Rom. 12:1-2). Give thanks for God’s mercy shown to you personally. Confess times of conforming to the pattern of this world. Commit yourself to the continual renewing of your mind. Ask God to be true to his promise that you will be able to test and approve what is his will.

Pray that each of God’s people will be reminded of the different gifts he or she possesses, according to the grace of God (12:6). Ask that they be further equipped through worship to use those gifts for God’s kingdom (12:7ff.).

–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend. This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.

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