We’re excited to unveil the new Maryland prayer blog from Capitol Commission! You can see it here. The Free State Prayer Slate will be still be up through the end of 2012, but you can begin using the new site now.

Let me encourage you to sign up on this new blog to get a daily or weekly email reminder to pray for your leaders. What a great tool to follow the biblical command to lift up our nation and leaders to the Lord. Also, take advantage of the links for each leader to get more information or contact them to let them know you prayed. The links include their website and email as well as ways to connect by Facebook and Twitter.

Marylanders, we have no excuse not to pray as 1 Timothy 2:1-4 tells us. Sign up today for the email reminders!

My colleague, Ron Bigalke, with Capitol Commission Georgia, offers this prayer on this election day. Thanks, Ron, for pointing us to the cross on this important day.

“Lord God, thank you for your grace—received through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ—which allows Your people to call upon You in prayer.

Lord God, I have prayed for my own discernment as to Your will and purpose, and I also pray that You would grant discernment to the unbelieving community. I pray that what is right would be so evident that even unbelievers would vote using wisdom and would demand honesty and uprightness from their elected officials.

Lord, in the name of Jesus, may the citizens of our nation become so weary of sin and degradation among our leaders that they will seek godly leaders to represent them on every level of government. Give such leaders favor with the public and the media.

Help your people to recognize that as we work upon immortal minds and fill them with the wisdom of Your Word—with the just reverence for You and the love of our fellow citizens—that we labor for that which is eternal.

Lord God, help us not to regard Your providence in our nation with a careless attitude. We appreciate not only the right but also the privilege to vote. I pray that I, in addition to others, will use that privilege wisely by seeking Your will in considering the qualifications of those for whom we vote. I pray for the body of Christ that all would understand the right to vote as a gift from You and to avail themselves of every opportunity. May there arise such an expression of righteousness in our electoral system that it would affect every realm and level of government in our nation.

For those elected officials who lead in their communities and lead our states and nation, may you surround them with wise counsel: men and women of integrity who seek Your will and the good of this nation beyond their own, and whose motives are for that which you deem right.

I pray that You would grant saving faith in Jesus to our incumbents and candidates, and for those who do believe and trust in Jesus Christ as Lord God and Savior, that you would grant them Christlikeness, discernment, honor, integrity, knowledge, and understanding so that our nation may know stability internally and abroad.

I give thanks to You for those who desire to serve. Lord God, I praise You alone as sovereign because You alone rule over all, and You alone are able to defend and keep us. I praise You that these times are under Your sovereign control, and that the king’s heart is like channels of water in Your hands (Prov 21:1). I give thanks for our current leaders and our new officials, in accordance with Your Word (since all those in authority are established by You to serve Your will and purpose).

I pray that You would bless the evangelistic and discipleship ministry to our Capitol communities, as your church seeks to reach them by Your grace and for Your glory. I thank You for blessing that ministry and thereby working in and through our leaders, so that we may have peaceable lives in godliness and honesty.”

Recently, Paul Meinsen, my Capitol Commission colleague in Missouri, had a strange experience. It is recounted in this article.

If you had been Paul, would you have had an answer? How pathetic that a professing follower of Jesus would have such an attitude, but it is possible that you or I might come across something similar, especially with the current political turmoil and upcoming elections. We should be ready with an answer. What would you say?

Today, the first Thursday in May, is the National Day of Prayer.  Thousands will gather for public prayer events and even more will remember to speak private words to God asking for help for our nation. It’s a day that true followers of Christ should rejoice in (regardless of who else chooses to join in or promote it). It’s an acknowledgement, at the very least, that we depend in some measure on God for direction, provision, mercy and safety. It brings some questions to mind, though:

Will God hear every prayer lifted up today?

If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened. (Psalm 66:18)

Will every prayer come from the right motivation?

You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. (James 4:3)

What should our ultimate motivation be as we pray for America?

Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations,  I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10)

What can we pray that our nation would sense and realize?

Put them in fear, O LORD! Let the nations know that they are but men!  (Psalm 9:20)

For what task should believers ask to be empowered in today?

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! (Psalm 96:3)

As we pray, what relationship should we seek with America?

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.  (1 Timothy 2:1, 2)

As we pray for “kings and all who are in high positions”, what should take priority?

This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (1 Timothy 2:3, 4)

God bless you on this special day in our country, however you choose to participate.  These are just a handful of Scriptures that may guide how we pray today, but there are hundreds more. You may want to have an open Bible in your lap to look for more direction from God to pray with His words for America.

Also, as you pray for leaders, this list will point your mind toward biblical thoughts.  It’s from Frank Erb, my Capitol Commission colleague in California.

May God bless our nation, one heart at a time turning to Him.

Matt Barnes is a pretty amazing guy. I’m honored to be his colleague in Capitol Commission’s effort to evangelize and disciple the political community of our nation. Matt is my prayer partner, fellow Cincinnati Reds’ fan, and overall blessing with his humility and vision.

The first few minutes one spends with Matt will show what kind of guy he is. Funny, caring and never full of himself, Matt is right where he should be – loving and ministering to the Indiana political arena. In this article, you’ll see what a fine reputation Matt has with leaders in Indianapolis. God is doing some remarkable things through his faithful ministry. 

Why not take minute right now to pray for the leaders of Indiana and your own state!