Written by Pastor Leroy Childress
Pray for God’s desire instead of your own.
When you pray and list your desires before the Lord, is your habit to go on a tangent for the things you desire and how you want things to be? When your church sings a song you don’t like, or when a bill is passed in Congress you don’t care for, do you begin to pray the Lord will do what you desire to be done? In our prayer lives, we must be humble and thoughtful enough to ask the Lord what His desire is. Certainly we are limited in our ability to see all of the full tapestry the Lord has in perspective. Isaiah 55:8-9 tells us:
“ ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’ ”
Therefore, let us come into His presence with respect and a determination of seeking His will and not our own. Instead of asking the Lord to let you have your way, pray He will have His way. Ask Him how He feels about things; then be silent and still long enough for Him to reply.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones” (Proverbs 3:5-8).
Pray the leaders of the country will stop practicing prejudicial politics.
TV and radio stations bombard the airways with the notion of voting for a party. Vote Democratic! Vote Republican! Neither party has all the right answers and ways. The party cannot be bigger than our God. There are faults throughout all parties. (By the way there are more than just two of them.) We should demand politicians to work with all of the elected officials across the board and not just those who look like them.
We know this country has a history of slavery, segregation, bigotry and prejudice. Perhaps it’s time we move past those roots and begin to embrace a party that looks and acts differently than the current parties. Pray for unity in the U.S. House and U.S. Senate for the welfare of the country. Jesus taught even Satan cannot stand if he is divided against himself (Matthew 12:22-28). Pray against this division that holds our country hostage.
“Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation” (Matthew 12:25 NKJV).
Pray Psalm 119:9-16, 32.
Pray this Psalm for yourself and our nation. Take time praying each verse. Pray the Lord enlarges our hearts more than the Grinch’s — which grew three sizes, as the story goes — so we can keep the Lord’s commandments as He desires.
“How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.
Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your statutes!
With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches.
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.
 I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!”
More than “racial reconciliation,” we need a spiritual realignment.
The problem is bigger than race, abuse of force, disrespect to officers, abortion, LBGTQ, gun control or any other political “hot topic” that is prevalent in our society. Those are just subsets of the real problem which has been “weighed on the scales and found wanting” (Daniel 5:27, NIV). I’m referring to the two great commandments of loving God and loving people. Before there was black-on-black crime there was brother-on-brother crime with Cain and Abel. And before there was refusal to obey police authority, there was refusal to obey the authority of God in the Garden of Eden.
If Adam and Eve truly loved God they would have followed His commands. If Cain truly loved God he would have offered a better sacrifice. And if he truly loved his brother he wouldn’t have gotten envious/jealous of Abel’s offering and killed him. He killed him with his heart before causing his blood to seep into the ground.
What we see happening in the world today is a result of a love deficiency towards God and people. Our prayers must be for hearts of stone to turn into hearts of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We pray people will humble themselves in the sight of God, pray, seek His face [and his commandments] and turn from their wickedness, so that God can hear from Heaven and heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14).
More than racial reconciliation, we need the Lord to “give us a new heart and put a new spirit inside of us” (Ezekiel 36:26). This is spiritual realignment!
Let Christians not depend on the politicians to do their job.
Christians around the country have taken a back seat to standing up for their beliefs. We’d often times rather be politically correct than not lose friends or perhaps experience shame and embarrassment. Christians are not willing to stand up publicly and declare God’s commands as the Psalm writer said in Psalm 119:13, “With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth.”
Should we really expect the politician who represents us to say and do what we ourselves are not saying and doing? So our prayer should be that those who profess Christianity will walk in Christianity. Pray we don’t ask the politicians to be more Christ-like than we are called to be. Pray for boldness in love, as we are commanded.
Pray for you.
This is a big one. A lot of effort is spent on being better. We go to conferences, watch webinars, read books, and invest countless hours to be better. Whether this is in the corporate world or ministry, the question is often asked, “How can I be better?” Much emphasis is placed on this across this country. Although it is not a bad thing to desire to be better at work or ministry, it shouldn’t be our only area of desired growth.
When is the last time you devoted just as much attention on being a better spouse, parent, or son/daughter? We go to conferences to learn how to bring more money in the house, but what about giving more of your biggest treasure — yourself. In 1 Samuel 3, 7, & 8, we see Samuel being anointed and doing ministry by judging and traveling often, but we also how his sons did not follow his ways when he tried to establish them as successors. They became evil in the sight of men and the Lord. One cannot be certain, but perhaps they resented their dad for not being present with them and modeling in the house what he was teaching in the land.
Don’t ask the Lord to change your spouse. Spend considerable amounts of time seeking the Lord on how you can be a better spouse. Pray you would have a bigger desire and capacity to serve your spouse in love than you currently do. Pray you can be the parent your children need to grow in a healthy relationship with Christ. Pray you can serve your children and your parents in the way Christ serves you. If you love your family from a distance, it’s time to go home and be mentally all in. Pray for YOU to do better. Pray for you!
Pastor Leroy Childress is the Senior Pastor of Grace Church in Lansing, Illinois. He is is dedicated to helping people understand the Gospel in everyday language and life. He has a passion for marriages and family unity and has a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Pastor Childress is married and has three daughters. In his years of ministry, he has served in church, school, prison, and street ministries.