I received a review copy of this book; all opinions expressed are mine.
When I first heard about the new book Praying for America by Dr. Robert Jeffress, I thought the timing of its publication couldn’t have been better. With all that we have going on in our country, our nation so desperately needs prayer!
In the introduction of Praying for America (FaithWords, hardcover) Dr. Jeffress, Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, reminds us that Jesus taught, “…the purpose of prayer is not to get our will done in heaven but to get God’s will done on earth.” He explains that he wrote this book “…to encourage you to ask God to bless America and to accomplish His perfect will in our nation.” Each of the 40 chapters have a prayer topic and include an inspiring story about how the power of faith and prayer made an important difference in the history of our county, along with a special prayer and Scripture relevant to each topic.
One of the chapters I made a special note of was the one about Gratitude. In this chapter, Dr. Jeffress writes, “In October 1863, there seemed little to thank God for. The United States had been torn in two in a bloody civil war…. The very existence of the Republic stood in question.” Over 300,000 Americans had died in the war by this time and there was no indication it would be ending soon. During this extremely difficult time, President Abraham Lincoln called for a day of thanksgiving and spoke these words to the weary, divided nation: The year that is drawing toward its close has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of almighty God.
Dr. Jeffress points out that, “In the midst of the storm, Lincoln…thanked God for His hand of providence, restraining evil, providing for their needs, and protecting them.” And then Jeffress asks, “What about today?… If our nation is going to stand firm in our faith and be a beacon of hope to the world, then we must demonstrate lives that are overflowing with gratitude. We must focus not on our visible circumstances but on the invisible God who is in control of those circumstances.” This chapter is a great reminder that even in all the difficulties we face, both as a nation and individually, there is still so much to be thankful for, and it’s important to express our gratitude to God.
Other chapters in this book touch on praying for religious freedom; for national unity; for national, state, and local leaders; for our troops; for Truth to prevail; for education; for those in prison; for the hurting; for wisdom…and many other important topics. This book has inspired me to pray for our country in ways I never would have thought of. There are so many ways we can pray and so many needs…praying for our country is one of the most important things we can do! As Dr. Jeffress writes, “When we seek God’s help and pray about the issues that affect our lives, we influence the fate of our families, our churches, and our nation. It has happened before in history, and it can happen again.”
Sharing at Inspire Me Monday.