Teens praying at the annual Meet You At the Pole event at high schools nationwide

“The reality," says America's National Prayer Committee Chairman Butts,"is that the spiritual and moral issues facing this nation will not be resolved in the White House, Congress or the Supreme Court. What the United States desperately needs is another Great Awakening! The Church must experience a revival that awakens her to the life-changing power of Jesus Christ in her midst. Such a spiritual awakening within the people of God has the power to bring about true cultural transformation in this nation.

"So why pray for the elections? There are a number of compelling

reasons: The Bible commands us to pray for those who are in leadership. This includes those who are vying to become leaders."

Black preachers praying for Barack Obama

“Godly leaders can help slow the erosion of religious liberties in our land," notes Butts. "This can provide an increased window of opportunity for the Church to pray and evangelize.

“According to Scripture, ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’ (Prov. 14:34). The selection of leaders who understand and lead according to God’s righteous standards can bring great blessing to a nation.

“Scripture also says in Proverbs 11:14, ‘For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisors make victory sure.’ The determination of who leads our nation will also determine who advises that leader and how we are guided.”

Students praying in Syracuse, New York

The website PrayerConnect also offers a downloadable prayer guide. It suggests  “Seven Ways to Pray for America.”

First, the guide recommends prayer for America’s churches: “The church is often relegated to the sidelines, considered irrelevant and out of touch. Though we sometimes deserve that critique, God has a completely different perspective on what His people are to be and how we are to function. In Ephesians 3:10, the Apostle Paul writes, ‘His [God’s] intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known.’

Thousands praying at the Reliant arena in Houston

“Though seemingly powerless in the eyes of the world, the Church – through righteousness, prayer, and the power of the Holy Spirit – releases the wisdom of God into any and every culture. Pray today for the church in America, that: ‘Our eyes will be opened to see the hope to which we are called’ (Ephesians 1:18); We will experience in a fresh, new way the Presence of Christ in revival; Believers will be given the faith to believe that their votes will make a difference; and a spirit of repentance and humility will be poured out upon the people of God.”

Prayer and Bible reading at the nation’s Capitol

“This requires an educated electorate who will examine the issues and the candidates and vote in a way that is best for the nation, not just their own well-being. Much prayer is needed for this critical process. Pray today for voters in the United States, that: ‘Wisdom will be sought from God; (James 1:5); Self-interest will be laid aside for the common good; and that discernment between truth and falsehood will be clear.”

Third, the PrayerConnect guide calls for prayer for the candidates: “In the early years of our nation, it was thought to be in bad taste to even be seen wanting an office, much less actually campaigning. Oh, how things have changed! Now candidates for public office, especially at higher levels, put themselves and their families through a rigorous process that brings every aspect of their lives into public view. It has become so intense that many good individuals have chosen not to endure the sort of public scrutiny that is an integral part of the campaigning process today.