Today on January 20, 2021, we are inviting Eastbrook Church into a day of prayer and fasting on behalf of our nation on the day of the presidential inauguration. The goal of this day is not to pray in a partisan way, but to bring our hopes and fears about the future of our nation to God, even as we intercede for the preservation of our nation, unity amidst divisions, and revival of hearts turning to the Lord. We welcome all of you to join us.
Prayer is the most appropriate first response we can make to circumstances like this. Prayer is not the only response, but it is vital. In prayer, we lay down our thoughts and feelings before God, relinquishing our desire to control, our visions of what is needed, and fears that grip us. We can release this all into the hands of God. In prayer, we also venture into encounter with the God who has made us and holds all the world together by His providential power and goodness. Prayer leads us to intercede for the needs of the world, to call out to God on behalf of those with power in the world, and also brings us into the silence of entrusting all things to God who knows better than us what is truly needed. God changes us and changes circumstances through prayer.
Fasting is simply voluntary abstinence from food for spiritual purposes. It is the opportunity to express to God in a very tangible way that we need Him more than anything else, even a physical meal. Fasting is always accompanied by focused prayer. If you do not know much about fasting or would like to grow in your understanding of this spiritual practice, let me encourage you to make use of the resources on my blog here.
As we engage in this day of prayer and fasting, here are some prayer points to guide us:
- pray for true peace in our city, nation, and the nations of the earth in this divisive, confusing, and tumultuous time
- pray for a peaceful transition of power as President Trump steps down and President Biden is inaugurated
- pray that God would guide the leaders of our nation with His wisdom, and that whether they name Jesus as Lord or not, God would mercifully lead us forward in His ways
- pray for healing of wounds in our nation, reconciliation across divides, and a constructive pathway forward toward a more whole and unified national life
- pray against the powers of evil, both spiritual and physical, that seek to disrupt and destroy, both in the church and the nation
- pray that the church of Jesus Christ might stand united for God’s kingdom and ways as we navigate a season where even we as God’s people have been destabilized by tension
- pray for revival in our nation; that God would lead people to a true understanding of the gravity of sin and evil, as well as the good news of the saving power of Jesus Christ
- ultimately, pray that God’s kingdom would come and God’s will would be done on earth as it is in heaven
These additional resources on prayer may be helpful as you pray:
- “A Prayer of Billy Graham for the Nation”
- “An Exhortation and Prayer from Yesterday’s Worship Services (January 10, 2021)”
- “A Prayer for Our Nation and Churches”
- “A Prayer Inspired by the prophet Zephaniah”
- “A Prayer Inspired by the prophet Nahum”
- “A Prayer of St. Clement of Rome”
- “Praying Proactively for Unity”