“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” –Hebrews 12:2
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.
So in our day, as we struggle sometimes with even knowing how to pray for our nation, this is a critical command to embrace: Fix your eyes on Jesus. We don’t have to do this on our own. Jesus understands political and national situations and struggles. As we pray for our nation, we keep our eyes fixed on Him.
As we look at the rest of 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 aren’t assuming that because we are praying for our nation that everything will immediately get better and we will all live happily ever after. Our prayers can make a difference! But we may pay a price. Jesus endured the cross because He saw beyond it to the fulfillment of the Father’s purposes. We fix our eyes on Jesus, praying for our nation, committed to enduring whatever may come, in order to see the fulfillment of the Lord’s purposes in our day.
• Thank the Lord for enduring the cross on our behalf.
• In prayer, fix your eyes on Jesus. Ask Him to show you how to pray for our nation.
• Commit to enduring whatever it takes to see the fulfillment of God’s purposes in our nation.
Lord, today and always I choose to fix my eyes upon You. You lived in a land of political tensions and struggles and overcame, though at a great cost. Teach me how to pray and how to live in the midst of the battles we are facing as a nation. Give me the courage that You had to endure whatever comes in order to please the Father and see His purposes fulfilled.
–Adapted from Desperate for Change: 40 Days of Prayer for America by David Butts