After multiple conversations with people over recent weeks who are feeling overwhelmed with everything that is going on in America right now and are wanting to pray but aren’t sure where to focus, I wanted to put together a some strategies that I’ve been using that may prove helpful for you as well.
First, thank you for being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit and for leaning into the heartbeat of Jesus in this hour. You prayers and intercession over our nation are vitally important—don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man (woman) avails much” – James 5:16
Below is a strategy I’m hoping will supercharge your prayer life over the coming weeks. I’m going to list it in bullet point form for clarity:
- We are in a spiritual battle being played out on a political stage. PLEASE remember this. Above all else, we are not warring against flesh and blood. (“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 6:12) People are NOT your enemy. Do not get duped into attacking others with your words or actions. Stay seated with Jesus in heavenly places—it’s from here your authority flows. Ask for His perspective on the people or groups you think are your ‘enemies’ right now.
- There is a spirit of offense raging against the USA right now, seeking to divide and conquer. Before you do anything else, do me a favor. Take 5-10 minutes and ask Jesus to search your heart. Ask him to reveal to you if you have picked up any offenses along the way. (And please don’t be offended with me for asking you to check your heart here! 🙂 ) The enemy seeks to steal, kill, and destroy and offense is one of his main tactics that he uses to divide us. Offense clouds your vision. Your prayers will lose effectiveness if you’re praying into situations from a place of offense. If God reveals you’ve been carrying an offense against a person, group, leader, public figure, political group, etc. admit it and ask Him to heal your heart. Ask Him to show you next steps and then do it! Set your intention to forgive, even if it takes time. It doesn’t mean you can’t pray, but it is very important you don’t allow offense to linger. And if you’re aware you’re offended, just be extra sensitive to the fact you’re not seeing clearly. Ask Jesus for clarity and trust his guidance.
- Watch your words! Life and death are in the power of your tongue. If you are in the habit of speaking negatively of people you don’t like (be it political parties, politicians, ‘enemies’, groups, people who think differently to you, etc.) STOP IT RIGHT NOW. I’m serious. The political spirit is fueled by slander, accusation, and words that attack its ‘opponents’. I can passionately disagree with someone’s character and actions and I can call a spade a spade, but I am not the judge of their life. As my pastor says, “The way I speak about another person reveals MY character, not theirs.” If you are angry and don’t trust yourself to keep your words in check, pray in tongues! Also, I’m not talking about refusing to speak truth to problems, but I’m shocked at the number of Christians using their words in destructive, divisive ways! Speak life first! And be very careful about making blanket statements about people you don’t know personally. If in doubt, pray for God to encounter them with his love and mercy and pray for Him to fill you with His love for them.
- Make sure your personal time with God is fueling you first. When you sense the chaos around you, it can be tempting to launch into praying for other things before making sure you’re filled up and aware of the presence of Jesus. Jesus loves you for you, not just for what you can do for Him. Make sure you are regularly spending time with him in the secret place; it’s from here you will operate from the greatest level of authority.
- Pray in tongues! And pray scripture! I find myself praying in the spirit the most, followed by speaking out scriptures over situations as I’m led; then in other ways as the Holy Spirit guides me. Trust you’re hearing him because Jesus says his sheep hear his voice.
- If or when you feel overwhelmed, go back to the ONE thing you know you’re meant to pray into right now. This has been a big deal for me! When I’ve felt overwhelmed, what has helped me regain my footing is to remember that I’m not supposed to pray for everything, I really have only a few key things that I’m drawn to right now. This is really important. What are you getting dreams about? What stirs your compassion and where do you MOST long to see heaven invade earth right now? What has God told you to pray into? THIS is where you need to pray. If you feel like you’re unsure of where to focus your prayers, send me a message and I will help you figure it out. I promise you, there are one or two key areas you’re being called to intercede over, it’s not everything.
- Protect your peace at all costs! This requires self awareness. How much news and social media can you handle right now and still maintain a sense of peace? My guess is going to be little, if any at all, because the media is riddled with spiritual activity that very divisive right now. Tread carefully. Trust God to reveal what you need to see in current events and unless He’s specifically told you to research stuff online, I’d strongly advise to get your perspective from the Holy Spirit rather than relying on ANY news outlet (conservative, liberal, whatever) to guide your actions and certainly not to decide how peaceful your day will be (or how to vote, for that matter.)
- Finally, physical obedience brings spiritual breakthrough. This is REALLY important. If God tells you to do something and it seems random or weird, don’t discount it. Obey. Even a small act of obedience causes ripples in the spirit realm that you might not immediately see. When the Israelites put the blood of the lamb over their door frames in Egypt (during the first Passover), it was a physical act of obedience that stopped the angel of death (a spiritual being) from visiting their homes. You physical obedience is a big deal right now! 🙂 Don’t talk yourself out of it. Be brave.
If you know anyone else who might benefit from these strategies, share this post with them. I am coming across many people who are feeling to pray and I know some of them have struggled to know where to start because it feels so big.
Lastly, thanks again for being the hands and feet of Jesus in the earth. I know in my heart that we have been born for such a time as this. Jesus has holding us, our nation, and our future in the palm of his hands. And we get to partner with him in an incredibly significant moment in history.
Love you all!