“…it is the duty of all nations as well as men… to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
Congress and President Harry Truman first declared an annual national day of prayer in 1952. President Ronald Reagan signed an amendment to the law in 1988, officially setting the first Thursday in May aside for the observance.
Today, the National Day of Prayer Task Force heads up the movement toward national prayer. Its website, nationaldayofprayer.org, is filled with great resources and information about events surrounding the National Day of Prayer. My wonderful friend, Shirley Dobson, as Chair leads the effort - and does so in a humble, powerful way. I encourage you to take a few minutes to look over the website and consider joining in the effort to bring our nation to prayer this year.
How to Save Your Family: Participate in the National Day of Prayer
The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer falls on Thursday, May 1. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to join with millions of others to humble ourselves before a powerful God and ask for His healing, protection and blessing on this great country we love.
This year, the theme, One Voice, United in Prayer, is inspired by Romans 15:6, which says, “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The official observance in Washington, D.C. will be broadcast live on the National Day of Prayer website from 9 am to noon. There is a great lineup of speakers for the event, including Reverend Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz; Dr. James and Shirley Dobson; another wonderful friend of mine, former Congressman Bob McEwen; and others.
Even if you cannot physically be with others to pray that day, I encourage you to carve out a bit of time to approach the throne of God on behalf of the nation, knowing you are not alone in your prayers. At noon, groups and individuals across the country will be reading the following prayer, written by Anne Graham Lotz, the Honorary Chairman of this year's event. So take it with you on your lunch break and take part in the healing and redemption of America:
Lord of the Universe. Lord of this planet. Lord of the nations. Lord of our hearts. On this National Day of Prayer, we look to You… In the darkness, You are our Light. In the storm, You are our Anchor.
In our weakness, You are our Strength. In our grief, You are our Comfort. In our despair, You are our Hope. In our confusion, You are our Wisdom. In time of terrorism, You are our Shield. In time of war, You are our Peace.
In times of uncertainty, You are the Rock on which we stand.
We make our prayer to You using the words of the prophet Daniel:
'O Lord, You are the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments. You are merciful and forgiving. You are righteous, but this day we are covered with shame because we have sinned against You, and done wrong. We have turned away from Your commands and principles. We have turned away from You.'
Yet You have promised in 2 Chronicles 7, that if we–a people identified with You–would humble ourselves, pray, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways, then You would hear our prayer, forgive our sin and heal our land.
So we choose to stop pointing our finger at the sins of others, and examine our own hearts and lives. We choose to acknowledge our own sin–our neglect and defiance and ignorance and even rejection of You. This day we choose to repent.
In response to our heartfelt repentance, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, Father of Jesus Christ, in keeping with all Your righteous acts and according to Your promise, turn away Your anger and Your wrath from the United States of America. Hear the prayers and petitions offered to You on this National Day of Prayer, as we give You our full attention. Give ear, our God, and hear; open Your eyes and see. We do not make requests of You because we are righteous, but because of Your great mercy.
For the glory of Your Name hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land.
We ask this in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ who offers us salvation from Your judgment, forgiveness for our sin, and reconciliation with You through His own blood shed on the Cross. Amen.