Christians everywhere must take responsibility for their own nations, believing that God can and will change the hearts of citizens in their nation. Our first task as believers is to ask God to change our own hearts from a negative perspective of our nation to a faith perspective and to trust that He wants to use us to bring about change in our nation.
This is the first part of our 8-part series, Bless Your Nation. In this series, we will focus on blessing a different area of society in each article. Read each article carefully and pray the blessings over your nation in faith, believing God to transform the hearts of citizens.
Worldwide, we have witnessed the powerful effect the media has to exploit the words of leaders and incite hatred, racism and violence. This may even lead to cursing other people or racial groups. Similarly, an irresponsible post on social media can also release a negative effect on a nation. Our words, as Christians, are to be different: We are to bless, rather than curse; heal, rather than wound; restore, rather than destroy.
Preparing to bless your nation
In this first part of our series, we will begin by preparing ourselves to bless our nation. Then, we will focus on blessing specific areas in our society. During the period that you will be blessing your nation, we encourage you to:
- Start every day with a prayer of blessing over your nation.
- Take regular prayer-walks/drives/cycles through your neighbourhood/community/ town/township/city/farm/countryside/shopping mall/ business district or industrial area.
- Intercede for the salvation of those who are lost and without the knowledge of God.
1.POSITIONING YOUR NATION FOR BLESSING
Blessings and curses are channels for the release of spiritual power. Our heavenly Father is the sole source of blessings that produce beneficial results. Curses have harmful effects, invoked by wicked people and evil forces. Both blessings and curses are released by spoken or written words or even by thoughts. Blessings and curses may also result from lifestyle choices. Once a blessing or a curse has been released, it can endure for generations, until someone revokes it with a prayer or through a lifestyle choice. Our words have tremendous power to affect people and situations, either for good or for evil. Death and life are in the power of the tongue... (Proverbs 18:21). But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. (James 3:8-10).
In the Old Testament, it was the responsibility of the high priest to bless the nation of Israel. Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.” So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them. (Numbers 6:23-27). In the New Testament, however, every believer is a priest! But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light… (1 Peter 2:9). Jesus instructed us to bless all people. But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you… (Matthew 5:44).
2.GUARD YOUR HEART AND MOUTH
Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth, and put perverse lips far from you. (Proverbs 4:23-24).
A blessing or a curse originates in our hearts. If our hearts are filled with bitterness, anger, hatred or revenge, we cannot bless anyone or anything. But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. (Matthew 15:18-19). Jesus said that if we believe in Him, rivers of living water will flow from our innermost being. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water. (John 7:38). Pronouncing a blessing does not condone sin. Rather, it places the sinner and the sin/sinful institution into God’s hands. He is a just and righteous Judge, who will execute justice and righteousness on our behalf.
As representatives of the kingdom of Jesus Christ, we are divinely empowered to overcome sin, temptation and the works of the flesh. A Christian’s love for God, fellow believers and for all people (including enemies), coupled with obedience to God’s commands and a radical new lifestyle of holiness and purity, are conditions necessary for God to pour out His blessings on a nation. The New Testament blessing does not always secure financial prosperity or physical security, but it does enable us to live in such a way that others are blessed, healed, restored and saved through faith in Jesus, thus restoring the worship and honour due to God as our heavenly Father. Such results please God and cause a nation to be blessed.
The time has come to allow the Holy Spirit to cleanse the hearts and lips of Christians living in your nation.
Daily Quiet Time
Allow the Holy Spirit to search your heart every day and bring conviction of wrong attitudes, thoughts, motives and words that may hinder God’s blessing flowing through you.
DAILY PRAYER: Father God, please forgive me for hardening my heart towards other people. Where I have become insensitive to Your voice and to the suffering of others, I ask You to remove the darkness and bring light and life. Help me to love again, and to look at other people with compassion and mercy. Help me to guard my heart.
Surrender your life into God’s hands and allow Him to transform your heart and direct your words and actions so that they are a blessing to the nation.
DAILY PRAYER: Father God, please forgive me for every harsh word that I have spoken in anger, impatience, hatred or insensitivity to family members, people of other race groups, leaders or foreigners. Remove every curse from my lips, and use me as an instrument of righteousness to bless my nation. Help me to watch my words.
3.BLESS YOUR COUNTRY
Pray this daily blessing over your country and the people living in your nation:
In the name of Jesus Christ I bless my nation of _________ and the people living in it: The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26). Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12). Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ…that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. (Ephesians 1:3-4).
Follow this series and bless your nation
Read each article in this series and pray the blessings over your nation, believing God to transform the hearts of citizens in your nation. And be sure to bless, rather than curse; heal, rather than wound; restore, rather than destroy as you live your life daily.