30 Things to Pray on Patriotic Holidays

How ought Christians to pray on patriotic or military holidays? A friend of a differing political persuasion asked me this question on Memorial Day. As I pondered, I jotted down my thoughts. Now that it’s almost American Independence Day, I thought I would share them with you all! Comment your own prayer ideas in the comments below.

Here are 30 prayer topics for Christians of any country to pray on holidays honoring their nation and/or their service members:

  1. For our country, our military, and our political leaders—that we/they would be characterized by excellence, service, repentance, righteousness, truth, mercy, humility, teachability, kindness, community, goodness, integrity, and justice.
  2. For freedom for all to live in peace, safety, and community.
  3. For good laws applied equitably.
  4. For wisdom, grace, humility, and boldness for our community, state, and national leaders and their advisors as they govern, and that they will seek the good of all without partiality.
  5. That we, our nation, our churches, our political parties, our lawmakers, and our military will seek righteous ends by righteous means.
  6. That our ultimate hope will be in Christ, not ourselves, our military, our leaders, or our nation.
  7. For the gospel to be preached and loved in our families, neighborhoods, country, and the world.
  8. For allegiance to the kingdom of Christ and the building up of his kingdom above all other allegiances.
  9. For eyes to see, celebrate, and steward what is honorable in ourselves, our communities, our churches, our military, and our nation. For eyes to see and grieve that which is grievous in ourselves, our communities, our churches, our military, and our nation; and for wisdom, humility; and for grace for areas of reasonable disagreement and ethical gray areas.
  10. That God will give us political leaders who value truth, human dignity, and justice.
  11. For safety for our military, our nation, and all peoples.
  12. For the end of aggression, violence, and genocide.
  13. For those defending themselves and others—for boldness, provision, wisdom, and righteousness.
  14. For those who have served honorable causes in honorable ways—that they will be appropriately honored.
  15. For acknowledgment, repentance, and restitution where war has been unjust and where standards have been applied unequally, and for appropriate accountability for past and present military or national wrongs.
  16. For those grieving the loss a loved ones—for good grief in the context of community; and comfort.
  17. For families that don’t have closure because of missing or presumed dead loved ones—for special comfort for them and for closure.
  18. For those with physical and psychological injuries from war, violence, military service, or a mobile lifestyle—for healing and support.
  19. For families and communities grieving losses in the context of invasion, injustice, or genocide.
  20. For provision, support, and community for military families who are deployed or have deployed family members.
  21. That we will love our neighbors well and seek the peace and prosperity of our communities.
  22. For the church to lead the way in love, repentance, truth, and justice—whether it has the support of its country or not.
  23. For awareness of and thankfulness for the political and social freedoms and blessings we have, for acknowledgment of any grief over where they have been achieved unjustly, and for the commitment to use them in the service and up-building of others.
  24. That we will be diligent to pray for our leaders, and wise in our own communal and political involvement.
  25. That we will seek to understand and care for not just of our own community, political party, or nation, but that of other communities, political parties, and nations.
  26. That our most loved freedom will be the freedom we have in Christ from sin and condemnation, and to sanctification, Kingdom life, and heaven.
  27. That we will acknowledge all our blessings and all our challenges—on a personal and on a national level—as being from God’s good hand and for his purposes.
  28. That we will trust God such that we can have hearts at peace regardless of political circumstances, and that we will be bold and kind disciples of Christ in our communities, our nations, and the world throughout changing political climates.
  29. For spiritual revival characterized by an awareness of sin, repentance, preaching of the Word, prayer, cherishing the beauty of the gospel, evangelism, renewed personal and corporate holiness, and making practical impact in local communities.
  30. For the church to have boldness to stand against the general culture where the general culture is wrong, for the humility to accept correction from the general culture when the church is wrong, and for eager willingness to work with people of all beliefs for the common good of all whenever possible.

My friends, if we are Christ’s, then we are citizens of heaven, and we are called to bear fruit as Christ’s disciples in the places in which he has put us on earth: our families, neighborhoods, local churches, communities, nations, and the world—doing our small part with love and without fear, trusting God’s commitment to grow his church and accomplish his good purposes amongst peoples and nations—looking ahead to the new heavens and the new earth, where Christ will continue his reign as King forever and ever.

Neither Shall They Learn War Anymore

“He shall judge between the nations, and shall decide disputes for many peoples; and they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore. O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the Lord.” – Isaiah 2:4-5 (ESV)

There’s a fighter in all of us. Sometimes that’s a good thing, but sometimes that can be a bad thing.

Sometimes we want to fight against cancer, oppression, or injustice. Other times we want to fight against God, the Church, those that want to help, and we end up biting the hand that feeds us.

What’s interesting is that the passage tells us they (referring to the people of God) shall not learn war anymore.

Let’s think about what war is. War, at it’s simplest, is fighting. As humans, we don’t need to learn how to fight, it comes naturally with our depravity. The desire to fight is always there. We may be taught how to strategize in our fighting like how to throw a punch or where we should kick a predator if he traps us in an alley, but our fighting is natural.

But, Isaiah 2 points to a time when there will be no more war, no more conflict, nor more fighting.

Our days on earth are filled with constant fighting. From personal spats with family members or spouses all the way up to global conflict between nations, but all this conflict will be no more when the weapons once used for war are used for mutual good.

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks.” That’s the goal. That goal will only be achieved when Jesus returns and fully establishes His Kingdom. Until then, we cry with John the Revelator, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

“He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen.Come, Lord Jesus!” – Revelation 22:20 (ESV)