But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
What a command from God to his people as they were living in exile. So picture the scene. You have God’s people taken over by the Babylonians who destroy Jerusalem and the temple and take people and they’re scattered from their land, from family, from friends in a foreign land, and God is instructing them during that time to seek the welfare of the city around them, where they have been sent into exile, to seek the welfare of that city, seek the good of that city. Pray to the Lord on its behalf. Pray for this city where you are in exile for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
God commands his people to seek the welfare of the city, even when they are in exile.
Now, obviously, that’s a command from God in a very specific situation in the Old Testament. But I think the application certainly relates to us wherever we live even as I’m studying and preaching through 1st Peter right now and being reminded continually that I am, we are sojourners, exiles in this world, no matter what country we live in, we ultimately belong to another country, a heavenly country. We’re not living for this country ultimately, wherever we may live, including the United States, and yet God calls us to pray for the good of the country we live in, to pray for leaders around us, to pray for the welfare of the city around us. This is part of what it means to be the people of God, to intercede on behalf of the people around us, of the city around us, of the country around us. pray to the Lord on its behalf for in its welfare you will find your welfare.
So I want to lead us to pray in this way, specifically for the United States in light of most followers of Jesus who listen to this podcast living in the United States, but certainly for brothers and sisters who are in different countries to apply this to wherever you live. But let’s pray to the Lord on behalf of our cities and on behalf of our country for the good, the welfare of the country, cities around us. God, we want to faithfully intercede on behalf of the people around us, the places around us, the cities where you’ve called us to live, towns, counties, states, and God, we want to be faithful intercessors on behalf of our country.
So, God, I pray for the welfare of Greater Washington, D.C. As you think about where you live, you just substitute the city, the area where you live in. God, we pray for the welfare, the good of the places where we live. God, we pray for those who are in need to know your provision. God, we pray for your blessing, particularly amidst this ongoing pandemic. God, we pray for salvation of lives, physically from this pandemic. God, we pray ultimately for the spread of the gospel in our cities. God, I pray continually for the spread of the gospel, for spiritual awakening in Metro Washington, D.C. I pray that for the cities where we live, and then God, we pray for our country. God, we pray for the welfare of the United States of America.
We intercede right now on behalf of our country, so those living in other countries, substituting those countries in this prayer. God, we pray for your mercy. Please have mercy, oh God. We pray for your grace. We pray for your help. God, we do pray and plead for spiritual awakening in our country, for hearts to soften to you and your word. God save us from ourselves, save us from Romans chapter 1, just giving over to ourselves in so many ways. God, please save us from ourselves. God, we pray for the welfare of the United States, for America, for economic prosperity. God, for prosperity and health amidst the pandemic. God, we pray that you would save lives, you keep more people from dying. God, we pray for an end to this pandemic. Please, oh God, we pray for that.
God, we pray for the welfare of people all around us, particularly people who are in need in our country and people who are poor, who are hurting and struggling in all kinds of different ways. God, we pray for your help. God, we pray for leaders who will lead in such a way that promotes good according to your word in Romans 13, 1 Peter 2, and protects people against evil. God, we pray for your grace across our nation, for the good of our nation. God, we ask for this and we pray that you would help us to be faithful intercessors on behalf of the cities, country where we live. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Join us in praying God’s Word as we lead up to the presidential election on November 3rd. Download our prayer guide HERE.