One of the most patriotic things you can do for your country as a Christian is to pray. We as believers have special access to the throne of grace to plead on behalf of our nations and their leaders.
[Pray] for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
That is what Paul instructs Timothy to do in 1 Tim 2:2. Bearing in mind Paul’s earthly king was Caesar, a man who stood for everything contrary to what Paul stood for, it is an incredible thing that he commanded Timothy to pray for the Emperor and all those leaders in the Empire (and is in itself a reminder we ought to be sincere and not cynical towards our leaders, regardless of whether we agree with them). Central to why Paul prayed this was so the Christians could live in peace, but also for the peace that allowed Rome to exist, which enabled the Christians to share the Gospel throughout it. Certainly one prayer we ought to pray is that righteousness would prevail in our land and that the government might seek to foster that which would bring ultimate benefits as well as blessings from the Almighty. Canada, and our leaders, certainly need many prayers from His people to this end.
Proverbs 14:24 reminds us, “Righteousness exalts a people, but sin is a reproach to any people.” History bears this out. When nations have perused righteousness they have been blessed by the Lord. When they’ve hardened themselves to doing good and seeking Him the Lord has brought them low. Doing what is good and pleasing to God (righteousness), it lifts up a people, yet when we do what displeases God (sin) that is a reproach, that is a great statement of disapproval and disappointment. In other words if we glory in His ways then we will be glorious!
At present, our national anthem (originally part of a Protestant hymn), says, “God [the Christian God] keep our land, glorious and free.” Now one way to look at “glorious” and even “free” is to link them to the glory of the land, that is its beauty, natural resources, etc, and free meaning free from tyranny. Yet I would suggest the author probably had in mind Prov 14:24. That he prayed that as our land pursued righteousness we’d be glorious as we reflected God’s glory and were blessed because of it. That we’d be free as we walked in the Way of liberty as revealed in Scripture, and not be bound to sin and its awful effects.
It is a prayer every Christian should unite in praying today, that our nation would be true to its foundation as expressed in the—neglected—preface of our Constitution (1982): “Whereas Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law.” We can do our Patriotic duty and pray for our leaders, and pray the Lord would have mercy upon our land and turn us all back to Him, before we cease to be glorious or free because of the reproach of many sins.
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,
Author: Chris Crocker
Pastor, historian and beekeeper.
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