A Prayer for the Nation

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As Canada celebrates its birthday this July, believers north of the 49th should be reminded to pray for our nation.

What follows is Daniel’s [slightly modified] solemn prayer for his people while enduring disciplinary exile for their sins against God (Dan. 9:1–19 NLT). It’s a good thing for God’s people to intercede on behalf of their neighbours and nation … nay, it’s a biblical thing! May this prompt us to that end.


O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands.

But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to your servants, those who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land. [You have not been silent! You have not left us guessing!]

Lord, you are in the right; but as you know, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us … scattered near and far. O Lord, we … are covered with shame because we have sinned against you.

But the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against him. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed the instructions he gave us through his servants and through his Word. [We have] disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice. 

O Lord our God, you brought lasting honour to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have sinned and are full of wickedness. [We have chosen to ignore your promises and your invitation for deliverance.]

O our God, hear [the prayer of your servants]! Listen as [we] plead on behalf of our nation. For your own sake, Lord, smile upon the people of Canada. [For the glory of your name, for the spreading of your perfect reputation, give our nation a heart of repentance, show us the error of our ways, that we may turn to you for the help we desperately need and the help only you can provide.]

O God, lean down and listen to [us]. Open your eyes and see our despair. …  We make this plea, not because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. 

O Lord, hear. O Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my God, for your people …  bear your name. Soli Deo gloria … glory to God alone!

Amen, amen.