Today is the annual National Day of Prayer in the United States, and I can think of no better time than this to affirm the importance and urgency of prayer for our nation and our world.
Yes, you may wonder exactly what good prayers like this are accomplishing because our world has so many problems–and they never seem to get any better. But listen: Have you ever asked yourself how much worse off the world might be if God's people didn't pray? Only in eternity will we know the full impact of our prayers.
Yes, evil is real–but if it weren't for God's restraining hand, the evil in our world would be even worse. As the Bible says, "the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:7). Shouldn't we pray that God will continue to hold back evil? Of course we should.
The Bible says, "I urge then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:1-2). Jeremiah wrote, "Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. ... Pray to the Lord for it" (Jeremiah 29:7). Pray for our world and its leaders every day–beginning now.