“I don’t pray enough for the country, and I should,” Tucker Carlson recently said during a speech at The Heritage Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Gala. Carlson said he had concluded that “it might be worth taking just 10 minutes out of your busy schedule to say a prayer for the future, and I hope you will.”
The opportunity to pray for America is an ever-present one, but knowing what or how to pray for a nation that is debating over the very definition of sex, stands divided on protecting the unborn, and is struggling with a deadly fentanyl epidemic can feel overwhelming.
With the annual National Day of Prayer on Thursday, pastors and faith leaders are inviting Americans to join them in prayer for the country.
Below, religious leaders have shared their prayers for the nation and wisdom on how to pray at this moment in America’s history.
1. Brandt Gillespie, associate pastor at Congregation Lion of Judah’s English Ministry in Boston, Massachusetts:
Our nation’s foundations, which once seemed so solid and sure, are now feeling tremors vibrating along seismic fault-lines of coercion and division. Buoy us with confidence in Your eternal nature, which stabilizes the undulating arch of all human history. It was Your wisdom, manifested through our Founding Fathers, that built hardy frameworks for these United States of America to withstand calamities for generations. We resolve to continue echoing the refrain “In God We Trust.”
Lord, impart courage and tenacity when our hearts feel faint as we gaze across the gulf of social and cultural divides. Keep us “One Nation Under God.”
2. Fr. Ed Riley, chaplain of Catholic Schools Office of the Archdiocese of Boston and administrator at Sacred Heart Parish in Waltham, Massachusetts:
Almighty GOD, Lord of all creation, You Who are Our Father, Our Brother, Our Lover, Our Savior, please listen to our prayers, we beg. By Your Divine Power and Authority, all things move and have their being, and we call upon You, LORD, that you will come to our aid and save us who are sinners, granting us the grace to turn back to You.
Heavenly Father, may the Divine Mercy of Your Only Begotten Son be poured out upon us to redeem us once again, for we have turned away from You and denied Your love for human life, for married life, for family and children, and have allowed the breach of the Enemy, tearing the fabric of our once blessed nation in all too many ways.
LORD GOD, we thank You, Who never turns away from all You have created, and we implore You to remain with us and reestablish once again Your covenant with all of mankind through your Gift of Divine Love and Mercy. And we ask all of this through Christ Your SON. Amen.
3. Dr. Kelvin J. Cochran, senior fellow and vice president at Alliance Defending Freedom:
As we turn our hearts toward heaven for our beloved nation on the solemn day of prayer, we rejoice in your Sovereignty. We honor the works your hands have wrought in our country from generation to generation. YOU have been good to us.
Though cultural challenges abound in America, we believe greater things are in store for our future. You have made us salt and light when the world is without taste and dark. As one nation under God, bless our efforts to be indivisible. Our hope is in YOU.
Because our hope is in YOU:
- We decree to spend more time rejoicing about what YOU are doing than complaining about what our enemies are doing. What they are doing will never overthrow what YOU are doing—the gates of hell will not prevail against it!
- We declare that we are more faithful in what YOU can do than fearful of what our enemies can do. Faith and fear cannot coexist in sons and daughters of God who stand for truth and righteousness.
- We are more inspired by the promises that YOU have made than paralyzed by the threats our enemies have made. YOU laugh at the threats of our enemies.
- We are more empowered by the words YOU are speaking than anxious over the words our enemies are speaking. They do have a lot to say, but YOU, O LORD, have the final say.
- We acknowledge the omnipotent authority of the MOST HIGH GOD over the influence and position power of our enemies. They do have some power. But YOU, O GOD, have all power!
May the joy and unity we’ve experienced on this National Day of Prayer spread like a spiritual wildfire from California to the New York Islands; from the redwood forests to the Gulf Stream waters, that this land can indeed be one nation under God, with liberty and justice for all. IN JESUS’ NAME. AMEN.
4. Fr. Tom DiLorenzo, senior priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Quincy, Massachusetts, and host of the radio broadcast ‘In Season and Out of Season’:
Father, we pray for this nation, that it be one nation under God; that our roots of faith would be reawakened and experienced as a beacon of light to those in darkness; that we would come to know, love, and serve the living Lord, Jesus Christ. Amen
5. Skip Heitzig, senior pastor of Calvary Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico:
Christian author and Nazi concentration camp survivor Corrie Ten Boom said that the greatest thing you can do for a person is to pray for them. Similarly, when visitors asked Charles Spurgeon about the success of his ministry, he walked them to the basement of the church and showed them the people praying during service. Spurgeon said, “There’s the secret of the ministry. It’s not my preaching; my people pray for me.”
Success isn’t found in a program but in the power and process of prayer—calling upon God to work His will and ways in the world.
The Prophet Ezekiel had a similar view. He wrote, “So I sought for a man among them who would … stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land. …” (Ezekiel 22:30).
As people of prayer, it is our privilege to “stand in the gap” for others. God is looking for faithful representatives to fill the breach on behalf of others through prayer.
On the National Day of Prayer, we can pray for others—for our churches, our communities, our leaders, our nation, and the world. My hope is that we’d find many gap-fillers among us. There are many holes in our lives and the world that need to be filled, and only God’s people—full of the Holy Spirit—can fill them.
I invite you to join the quest to be people of prayer, to position ourselves in the gap for others. And I believe we can expect God to do more than we can imagine through His people praying—gap-fillers for His grace and truth.
6. Austin Hamrick, assistant pastor at Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia:
David would write in Psalm 20:7, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; but we will remember the name of the Lord our God” (New King James Version).
We must return to this verse as the anthem of our nation. Once upon a time, America was built upon this proclamation, “In God We Trust,” but we have strayed from the Lord as our firm foundation, and we have placed our trust in government, power, and progressive ideologies. We have forgotten the Lord.
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was caught in a cycle of sin, but when they humbled themselves and repented, the Lord was always faithful to forgive their sin and heal their land. America is in desperate need of healing, and it starts with repentance as we submit to God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. True freedom is found wherever the Spirit of the Lord resides (2 Corinthians 3:17). Let’s pray that the Lord would shower America with His mercy and that we would return to the Lord today, remembering Jesus Christ once again as our firm foundation.
Lord, we recognize our need for You today and every day. We acknowledge our sin and how we’ve strayed from the truth of Your Word, and we pray that our hearts would be broken before You. We read in Psalm 51:17 that a broken and contrite heart is what You desire, and so we ask that Your Spirit would lead us to that place of repentance so that we might experience rivers of living water flowing through our nation once again. May we return to Your Word as the anchor of truth and hope so that we would be a beacon of light to a dark and dying world that needs Jesus. We look to You and humbly seek Your face, and we trust You to accomplish Your beautiful plans and purposes through us. In the name of Jesus we pray, Amen.
7. Stephen E. Strang, author of ‘Spirit-Led Living in an Upside-Down World’ and founder of Charisma Media:
There is a spiritual realm more real than the world we see. That’s why we pray. Every religion involves prayer of some kind. But for Christian believers, prayer is communication with the God of the universe. It’s not enough to just repeat prayers—although there are many important prayers, including the one Jesus taught to His disciples, which we call the Lord’s Prayer.
I believe we should pray to God through the Holy Spirit, the third Person of the godhead. In my new book, I point out that praying in the Spirit is a way to speak to God spirit-to-Spirit. The apostle Paul said, “The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses, for we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us” (Romans 8:26).
The early church fathers understood this and taught believers to pray: “Come, Holy Spirit …” That prayer is more important now than ever on this National Day of Prayer, when it seems we live in an upside-down world that has often forgotten prayer and forgotten God.
8. Josh Zeichik, former pastor and director of Church Engagement for Focus on the Family:
Lord, today, as we take time to focus on prayer for our nation, help us to be mindful of the example you have given us of how to pray in Matthew 6.
Help us remember that you are holy and the very reason we can come to you in prayer is because you’re capable of changing hearts when we are not.
Help our priority to be for your kingdom to be built over our own and even over those that we agree with.
Help us to never rely on ourselves more than on you, as we work hard to care for families and others.
And help us remember that while we see injustice and evil all around us, we still need your forgiveness each day as well, and are grateful for your continued mercy towards us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
9. Jason Yates, CEO of My Faith Votes:
We come before you today to lift up our beloved nation. We pray for your wisdom and guidance for our leaders, that they may make decisions that honor you, align with your will, and promote righteousness.
We pray for our fellow citizens, that they would recognize your sovereignty, humble themselves, and turn from sin, so that you will heal our land as you have promised. Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to show compassion to the vulnerable, and to seek the well-being of all.
We pray for your protection over our country, our people, and our institutions. We ask that you shield us from harm, both from external threats and from the sins and temptations that undermine our society.
Above all, we pray that your love and grace would be evident in your people and our nation, that we may be a shining light to the world and a beacon of hope and peace. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.
10. Dr. David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and founder and host of ‘Turning Point’:
Our world is facing unprecedented uncertainty. Health, finances, politics—every aspect of life seems to be hanging in the balance. Yet there is one source of true hope and healing, and that is Almighty God. He has promised, “If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Please join me, on this National Day of Prayer, in praying for our communities, our nation, and our world:
Lord, thank You for the help You provide each day. You are indeed our strength and provider. You have never failed. Indeed, You are a very pleasant help in times of trouble. May Your word spread among the nations. May Your plan for history move along its preordained course. Give us leaders who fear You. Give us missions instead of misery, hope instead of despair, food and water where there is hunger and thirst, peace where there is war. Bring healing to the diseased and freedom to the oppressed. May Your Name be exalted from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. Amen.
11. Lisa Anderson, director of young adults at Focus on the Family and host of ‘The Boundless Show’:
Lord God, we first acknowledge the outrageous privilege of living in a country where we can boldly, specifically, and publicly pray. We can gather as your children and petition you, our loving and patient Father, to give full and perfect attention to our feeble cries. Thank you for giving us direct access to you through your Son.
We come before you today with both individual and corporate hurts, fears, grievances, and hopes. Some of us pour them out in a tumult of anger and tears; others have given up and sit before you, eyes down, arms crossed, doubting you’ll actually show up and deliver. Forgive us our presumption in telling you what should be done—and how and when.
But we’re a mess. Our nation sits daily in violence, financial upheaval, identity crises, and dysphoria. Families are broken. Millions are lonely and lack purpose. Children are neglected and forgotten. We want everything fixed, yet deep down, we know we don’t have a resource or knowledge or systems problem—we have a heart problem.
Lord, for those of us who know you, you have given us a new heart. Allow us to experience this new identity and live out of this new DNA. We are new creations, able to love others lavishly with the love that has supernaturally been given from you.
Help us remember that rather than grasping for control, the solution is to acknowledge your complete control, your sovereignty. Our job is to stay plugged in to the life-giving, soul-transforming vine. Only then will we see fruit. We can’t fake it or manufacture it; it’s a product of the Spirit alone.
Remind us to run to you often. Remind us to run to you with every piece of disturbing news we read or see, with every betrayal, with every hardship and loss we suffer. We can’t change the world, but we can change our experience of your love by trusting you, taking you at your word, and walking out obedience even when our fears tell us to run the other way.
Lord, we agree that our ultimate hope isn’t in earthly leaders and influencers. Our hope isn’t in government programs. It’s not in our education, our spouses, or children. It’s not in technology or progress, money or media. It’s not in the next dopamine hit via sex, porn, TikTok, or substances. Our hope is in you.
But we don’t live like that. We settle for small stories and safe bets. Help us, by the power of your Spirit, to see our neighbors and even our enemies—the ones who tear us down and work against us (and even you)—through your eyes. Root out our pride. Help us to generously and creatively extend a hand in our communities, our nation, and around the world.
You have a glorious and secure future planned for your people. In the meantime, we fight for faith. May a watching world see you in us. May we forever live out your will, to your glory alone.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
12. Bishop Gregory Toussaint, senior pastor of Tabernacle of Glory in Miami:
A nation is not a mere accident of nature, but a meaningful product of divine creation. The Lord, speaking to Abraham, declared, “I will make you a great nation” (Genesis 12:2, New King James Version), indicating that it is God who brings nations into being.
The Hebrew term “Ashah” used in this verse is the same one employed in Genesis when God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). The Creator of humanity is also the Creator of nations, as Isaiah the prophet affirmed: “I am the LORD, your Holy One, the Creator of Israel, your King” (Isaiah 43:15).
The Lord, however, did not only create Israel. The Scriptures assert, “All nations whom You have made shall come and worship before You” (Psalm 86:9). Therefore, the United States, like every other nation, was formed by God for a specific purpose. America has been summoned by the Lord to be “a light upon of hill.”
In this season, we must fervently pray that our nation will radiate as it has in the past and confront spiritual apathy, racial division, economic instability, political confusion, and various other challenges. Let us plead for God’s grace to rest upon our nation and our land. Let it be so.
13. Herbie Newell, president and executive director of Lifeline Children’s Services:
You are the good and perfect Father. You formed us in your image as male and female, breathed into us your breath of life, and commanded us to go and do the same: Create life made in your image.
You formed us in our mother’s womb. You know every hair on our head. Not one of us is lost to you.
When the time was right, the same Holy Spirit who hovered over the waters of chaos at creation hovered over Mary’s womb, and the God of the universe became an embryo.
You defend the cause of the orphan and the widow, call them your treasure, declare that you are the Father to the fatherless, and tell us that we see your Kingdom when we receive children.
But you have also warned us that if we harm a child, it would be better if we’d never lived.
We confess our national sin: We have not always loved the most vulnerable in our communities and too often have seen life as a choice, not a sacred dwelling for your presence.
Forgive us as a nation. Free us from the sin of selfishness, and open our eyes to see every life—especially the lives of children—as you see them.
We lift the unwanted, the orphan, the foster child, and the vulnerable women and mothers in our neighborhoods, our cities, our states, our nation, and our world. Help us as your Church to carry to them the hope found only in your gospel. Meet their needs as you give us opportunity to provide for them in your name.
Fill us with your Holy Spirit and give us the courage to speak out on behalf of vulnerable children and the gentleness and wisdom to serve them and their families.
Raise Godly men to mentor dads, Godly women to mentor moms, and let all your people be filled with the Holy Spirit to be loving, gentle, and caring people who take responsibility for the next generation.
As you hold children in the palm of your hands, let us be your hands and feet to the most hurting mothers and children among us. As we’ve prayed to end abortion, we also pray for an end to needing foster care or adoption because your people have risen to care for orphaned and vulnerable children for your name’s sake.
We pray all this in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who was born to give us life everlasting. Amen.
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