GAINES: 'A prayer for America'

EDITOR'S NOTE: Steve Gaines is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church in Cordova, Tenn.

MEMPHIS (BP) -- Today is the National Day of Prayer in the United States of America. As Bible-believing Christians, we believe in prayer.

We know that God answers the faith-filled, frequent, fervent prayers of His people. As Southern Baptists, we believe that we should pray and ask God to bless our nation and its leaders. We should pray for our leaders and for every citizen of our nation, asking the Lord to forgive our sins and to guide us in His will in the future. We should also confess the sins of our nation and beseech the Lord to be merciful and gracious to every person in our country.

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Many Christians will gather across America today in special venues to pray and to plead with God to let His favor and mercy rest upon us. I want to offer "A Prayer for America" that I trust will be helpful to you and other Christians that might want to use it today as you pray.

"Heavenly Father, I lift up to You the United States of America. I humbly ask You to open the windows of heaven and come down (Isaiah 64:1). Send revival to Christians in America so that our nation will turn back to You. I pray that You will raise up prayer warriors across America that will fervently call on Your name and seek Your face for an outpouring of Your Spirit. I pray that You will raise up pastors who will preach the Word of God with conviction and without compromise. I pray that You will raise up soul winners that will share Jesus and lead people to faith in Him. I pray that You will raise up disciple makers who will help new believers grow in grace and become more like Jesus.

"I pray for our political leaders, from our President, to our governors, to every mayor across this nation, that they will love Jesus and uphold the teachings of Your Word. I pray that You will give us Godly judges that will judge and rule in righteousness. I pray that You will bind Satan from dividing our nation with racial prejudice. I pray that whites, blacks, Latinos, Asians and others will genuinely love and respect one another, and will understand that there is really only one race -- the human race. We are all created in Your image (Genesis 1:27). Jesus died for the sins of all of us (1 John 2:2). You love all of us (John 3:16). Help all of us to love You and to love one another.

"Please forgive us for our sins against unborn children via abortion. Please forgive us for affirming any form of marriage other than biblical marriage, which is one man married to one woman for life. Please forgive our nation for our sins of sexual immorality, racial prejudice, greed, and prayerlessness. Help every Christian to be humble in spirit, hungry for revival, and holy in thought and deed.

"Lord, please send spiritual awakening to Christians in America. Pour out Your Spirit upon every follower of Jesus Christ from Maine, to Florida, to Texas, to California, to Washington, to Minnesota, back to Maine, all across the continental United States, and Alaska and Hawaii. May we offer up fervent, repentant, humble, faith-filled prayers to You on behalf of our country. We pray and agree with the Psalmist -- 'Will You not Yourself revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You?' (Psalms 85:6) Lord, please do exceedingly abundantly beyond all that we can ask or think. In Jesus' holy name, amen."

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