“…You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
Jehoshaphat is a prime example of how beginning correctly impacts a nation. There were many ungodly options for finding direction and leading the nation. Jehoshaphat clearly chose to seek God and devoted himself to God’s ways. And God greatly blessed the whole nation because the leader was seeking Him.
Jehoshaphat’s seeking of the Lord led him to place the Scriptures in a place of honor in the life of his nation. He literally led the way in making sure the people knew what was right and what was wrong. In 2 Chronicles 19:4, Jehoshaphat went out himself into the villages and led the people spiritually: “So Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem and went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and brought them back to the Lord, the God of their fathers.”
If you are reading this and saying, “Oh, I wish our leaders would do this,” my question to you is, “Are you asking God to raise up political leaders who are also godly leaders?” Why not? James 4:2-3 tells us we do not have because we do not ask. You can make a difference in the spiritual climate of our nation by praying for those who are in office and those who are seeking office. Pray that they would, like Jehoshaphat, first of all seek God!
But praying for leaders should not be a one shot deal. We need to press in with persistence. Christians are literally commanded in1 Timothy 2:1-4 to pray for our leaders. Instead of complaining, we need to be interceding.
I would also suggest that you personally begin to seek the Lord with greater passion and intensity. It is not just our leaders who need to draw near to CHRIST and experience His presence. Each one of us needs this. The promise of Scripture is that if you seek, you will find. We are told in the book of James that if we would draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. It is an absolute promise from the Lord!
Imagine living in a nation where a large number of people are crying out to God for His Presence and are passionately seeking Him. You will find yourself in a community where love is leading the way. Those who are hurting are helped by their neighbors rather than an impersonal government agency. Justice for all becomes a way of life rather than a catch phrase. Peace is sought by all. It really can happen! But we must do our part and become a people of prayer.
Lord, as I draw near to You in prayer, I know that You will also come close to hear me. Please grow my passion to pray for the leaders of my nation and encouraging others to do the same so that Your people, who are called by Your name will be known for our love and not for our critical spirits. May I continually recognize that You are the Way of peace, truth, life, justice, freedom and the only One with the answers to the troubling state we find ourselves in! I choose to be fully devoted to You, Lord God, with great faith in the plan You have for America as we step into the future together.
–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.
Praise God, who teaches you to pray “not as I will, but as you will” (Mt. 26:39). Thank God for his counsel as you set the Lord always before you, thus keeping you from being shaken in any circumstance (Ps. 16:7-8). Confess your struggle with God’s will when you are tempted to fail him as you see the world prospering (Ps. 73:1-22). Commit yourself to God anew today, knowing he holds you with his right hand, guides and counsels you, and will take you to glory (73:23-28). Ask the Lord for the assurance that whenever you come to him, he will never drive you away (Jn. 6:37).
Pray that God’s kingdom will be advanced by your willingness to do whatever God may require of you and to do it joyfully (Acts 21:13-14).
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