by Linda Cox

“What do you pray for when you pray for our country, our leaders, our military?”

That’s the question I recently posed to almost fifty of my friends—age 20 to 80.

More than half replied, their occupations ranging from administrator to business owner, from church organist to college student, from engineer to farmer. Some are retired, some work in law enforcement, and some are in the ministry. Sixteen are veterans or the family of present or past military. All are proud Americans, and their responses form the framework for the following prayers.

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 will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV

For our country, Lord, we pray:

✟ Give us thankful hearts that we live in a free country founded on Christian beliefs. May we not take for granted the freedom, blessings, and opportunities we have, nor ever forget the sacrifices that made it all possible.

✟ Forgive us, the “quiet majority,” for not speaking up, for losing the core values upon which our nation was founded. Wake us up to see how far we have strayed and draw us back to those core values. Grant us insight and understanding of the perils that await us if we do not return to You. We plead your mercy upon us rather than Your giving us what we deserve for our waywardness.

✟ Help us to do all we can to make a difference in our country and the lives of its citizens. Teach us to work and live responsibly, to value family, and to raise children with morals and a respect for our flag and our country.

✟ Give us the wisdom to vote wisely as we trust You to raise up godly leaders at all levels of government.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority… 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NIV

For our leaders, Lord, we pray:

✟ Bring our leaders to their knees before You. May they seek Your wisdom, surrender to Your guidance in everything they do, and realize their accountability to You in all things.

✟ Grant them changes of heart on issues that You do not approve. Give them faithfulness, humility, meekness, a willingness to serve, and a desire to turn to the truth in Your Scriptures so that they see Jesus. Restore to them a respect for the sanctity of human life and the value of the Ten Commandments.

✟ Grant them wisdom to do the right thing and make decisions in the best interest of our country and its citizens. Prevent them from focusing on their own special interests and personal agendas, on money, power, and political success. May they think clearly with both minds and hearts so that they see You, follow Your guidance, and lead with common sense, compassion, discernment, honesty, and justice for all.

✟ Move in Your powerful way to turn current leaders in the right direction. Weaken the influence of and remove from office those who oppose You. Raise up God-fearing men and women of faith, with thankful and teachable hearts, to lead. Give them courage to “step on toes” if necessary and the strength to do all You call them to do.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear… Psalm 46:1-2 NIV

For our military, Lord, we pray:

✟ Thank You for the men and women in our armed forces, past and present. May we never take their bravery, loyalty, and sacrifice for granted as we seek opportunities to let them know how much we appreciate them.

✟ Bless their families and the sacrifices they make so their sons, daughters, spouses, and parents may serve to keep us free. May they feel Your peace and comfort while their loved one is away.

✟ Grant comfort to those who have lost a family member in service to our country. Help us to reach out to them in Your love so that they may know that this sacrifice was not in vain.

✟ Surround our military with Your protective hedge of safety and Your love. Grant them discernment and wisdom, courage, integrity, loyalty, and compassion for others. Use their training to protect them as they keep evil at bay. Bring them home safely.

✟ Strengthen the faith of those who know You that the light of Your love shining through them may draw others to you. Open the eyes of non-believers to recognize their need of Christ. Open their hearts and minds to know Jesus as their Savior so they have Him as their refuge, their strength, their ever-present help in all things, and their everlasting hope forever.

✟ Bless and guide the Chaplains to speak the truth about Christ with courage. May they have the freedom to share the true Gospel with all those in our armed forces.

Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer. Amen.

And now, I pose the same question to you:

What do you pray for when you pray for our country, our leaders, our military? (Please feel free to share your prayers in the comment section below.)

Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription:


The Lord knows those who are His… 2 Timothy 2:19 NIV


Linda Cox is a regular contributor to DivineDetour. She recently retired after twenty-five years as a district office secretary for the State of Illinois. Her first loves are studying the Bible and reading, but Linda occasionally tries her hand at writing. Her work is published in All My Bad Habits I Learned from Grandpa (Thomas Nelson), The One-Year Life Verse Devotional (Tyndale), Life Lessons from Grandparents (Write Integrity) and the Love Is a Verb devotional (Bethany House). She and her husband live on a farm with their two indoor/outdoor farm mutts.