Thursday, May 3, 2012

Every Nation Day of Prayer

I recently received Scotty Smith's book Everyday Prayers. It is a compilation of Scripture-centered and gospel-saturated prayers that Scotty has written through his personal study of and meditation on God's word. With this being National Day of Prayer, I found Scotty's prayer for today to be extremely helpful. It is adapted from a prayer posted a couple years ago at the Heavenward, his blog hosted by The Gospel Coalition, and further adapted (as I found after posting this) in today's post. Here's how it reads in the book:
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9-10
Loving Father, on this “national day of prayer” it's easy to think of several things to bring before you. First of all, I praise you for heavenly citizenship. Thank you for making me a citizen of the realm from which I eagerly await the return of the true King, our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He's already reigning, and one day he will return to transform all things—including my body to be like his glorious body (Philippians 3:20-21). What comfort and what joy that good news brings!
Secondly, as broken as our country is, I’m very thankful to be an American citizen. I praise you for the many freedoms we still enjoy and the multiplied privileges that go with being a citizen of this great nation. I bring our sitting president before the occupied throne of heaven, and I ask you to be at work in his heart and through his hands.
As with all “kings,” you set them up and you sit them down at your discretion, so I trust you for the accomplishment of your sovereign purposes through our president, in keeping with the eternal wisdom of your heart. I don’t look for a lasting city in our country but for the City builder and maker is God—that would be you!
Lastly, the more I understand the gospel, the more I find it easy to pray in light of John's vision of the "every nation" day of prayer. Oh, for the day when men and women from every nation, tribe, people and language will be wearing the white robes of grace-secured salvation, while waving palm branches of praise and shouting in perfect harmony, "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:10).
Because that day is coming, free me to be a better citizen of two countries until the kingdom of God arrives in fullness and the King of glory arrives in splendor. I pray in his sovereign and saving name. Amen.

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