Heavenly Father,

It seems that our world is always in turmoil. Human beings around the world are still filled with hate, violence, greed, and the love of power. Even while we see evidence of this kind of behavior in other parts of the world, we have people next door, in the next town, county, and state who do not value life or believe we are all created in your image. When we examine our own lives, we confess that we find that we too are “prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love.”

We have grown cynical as a people because we no longer believe that many we elect to represent us are guided by moral principles. More often than not, it seems, decisions are made for selfish purposes, for the good of special interest groups and not the good of the country.

We long for a day, Lord, when lawmakers would not be as concerned about their reelections as they are about making decisions that benefit all of us. Send us some sacrificial lambs, those willing to stay a brief while if necessary, but have the backbone to do and say what is morally and ethically right. We long for the day when common sense was common and it was used regularly in all branches of government.

Give our Christian leaders the boldness to follow you, but with the grace and the spirit to embrace people of all faiths or those who have no faith. Help them to represent you in a way that is loving and kind, without compromising your commands. May others see Jesus in their actions rather than hypocrisy. May that be true of us all, Father.

Forgive us for complaining more about our President than praying for him. Many harbor a hatred of him, Lord. Instead, we ask you to bless his Presidency for the sake of our country and peace around the world. Empower President Obama, Lord. Help him to understand that while he is a powerful man, there is no power that compares to the power of your Holy Spirit. May your wind blow through the White House, touching his family and all the staff.

Since this is a day of prayer for our country, move in an unmistakable way as a sign to the President and those around him that you have heard the prayers of your people, that you are an awesome God, high and lifted up, and that a day is coming that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, in heaven, on earth and under the earth, and confess that you are Lord.

We therefore lift you up today, Lord, praising you for what you continue to do for us through our leaders, in spite of our leaders, and in spite of all of our unholy ways. Do not remove your hand from us, Lord. We need you. Without you, where would we go? Without you, we would be reduced to nothing.

We pray now that you will be with our leaders and with us, for you are Immanuel. From the youngest to the oldest, from the poorest to the richest, from the immigrant to the indigenous, from Yankees to Southerners, from the healthiest to the unhealthiest, from the educated to the uneducated, we remember that you have been with America and that is why we have been blessed. Even so, this great nation as well as all nations will one day pass away; for you have said, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Matthew 24:35 NIV).

So continue to speak to us all, Lord. Most especially on this day, speak to the leaders of our nation. May they hear your voice and listen to your words so that we might continue to be a blessed America, O Lord, our God.