Much is being written here and elsewhere these days about praying for our country. Good thoughts, wisdom shared, encouragement and hope given. Hopefully, we're praying even more than we're writing about prayer.
I wanted to take a minute to contrast two approaches that I've personally experienced to praying for our country.
- Pride brings God the answers and asks him to act on them; humility brings God questions and asks for his wisdom.
- Pride tells God who needs to be elected or which party should be in or out of power; humility seeks God's intervention to raise up righteous leaders of his choosing.
- Pride calls down God's judgment on people who believe or act in ways we consider immoral (and that even ARE immoral); humility seeks God's grace, forgiveness and cleansing for those who live far from his will, recognizing that we also once lived outside his will and saving grace.
- Pride makes the assumption of the Pharisee - that we are in the right and that God should recognize that; humility recognizes with the tax collector that we are wrong and in need of God's grace.
- Pride shouts; humility pleads.
- Pride calls us to tell God the way things are going in our nation and in our world; humility causes us to seek his wisdom and strength to change them.
- Pride focuses our thoughts on the changes other people need to make; humility confesses the changes we need to make.
I have prayed both ways. By God's grace - and in his infinite patience - I'm slowly learning to pray less from pride and more from humility.