How Should We Pray for America? (Part 1 of 2)
The Bible exhorts all Christians to pray for "all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence" (1 Timothy 2:2).
"Dear God: Make everyone a Christian in America, and Lord, make my mom never cook spinach again," wrote Sarah, age 6.
Although I'm sure my spinach-quiche suggestion would fall on deaf ears, I do commend Sarah's prayer that all Americans come to know the Lord. To expand prayer horizons beyond America, read a book called "Operation World."
It's never too early for children to start praying. The following brief prayer comes from 4-year-old Cale: "Dear God: Keep the ocean and the cowboys safe."
Because the kids who wrote the prayers for this column live in a suburb of Dallas, I wonder if the second half of this prayer is for the Dallas Cowboys.
"Dear God: I pray that the president gets more ideas," wrote Johnathan, 6.
Yes, we should pray that government officials receive godly advice from wise counselors, but we can also pray against evil plans and people. When King David learned that Ahithophel had joined his son's rebellion to take over his throne, he prayed, "O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!" God answered that prayer.
We need to constantly be in prayer against the plots of evil people like Adam Lanza who murdered 20 innocent children and eight adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We should pray that the plotting of terrorists and mass killers would be exposed.
We know from the Book of Esther that God has a wonderful way of letting evil people hang themselves with their own plans. Esther schemed with Mordecai to expose the conspiracy of Haman, an evil man who wanted to kill all Jews and especially Mordecai. Haman was hanged on the gallows he had prepared for Mordecai.
Ryan, 10, provides an example of a prayer for righteousness to prevail: "Dear God: Please help the president to make the right decisions. Help make this country to still stand strong."
Alyse, 9, offers another example: "Lord, please be with America through these hard times. Keep your angels around us."
Let's not forget to be grateful for what God has given us. Erin, 5, offers a prayer of thanksgiving: "Dear God: Thank you for our family, and thank you for George Washington, and thank you for Jesus. Thank you for butterflies. Thank you for our country. I wish I could make a valentine to put up in heaven for you.
"And thank you for our Bible stories, Mom and Dad, friends and Christmas. Thank you, God. I do love you. Amen."
Do you want to do God's will? The Bible says, "in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you" (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
Many of my journalist colleagues have adopted the motto, "If you don't have anything good to say, let's hear it."
Christians who adopt heaven's view of life realize God is at work in every situation. Eyes of faith cause people of faith to give thanks in faith when they don't completely understand God's purposes in a situation.
Hannah, 7, offers a prayer of thanksgiving for her salvation: "Dear God: You saved me. You took away my sins. I love you, God."
Be thankful that God has kept you and your loved ones safe for another day. Be compassionate by praying for those who are grieving over the loss of their children and loved ones in the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.
Listen to a talking book, download the "Kids Color Me Bible" for free, watch Kid TV Interviews and the Mission Explorers Documentary at www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. Bible quotations are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2012 Carey Kinsolving
Publication date: January 11, 2013