"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." ~ Psalm 46:1
This Thursday, May 7, marks the 58th annual National Day of Prayer. Cities and churches throughout the nation will hold prayer gatherings to recognize God's goodness and to thank Him for the many blessings He has poured on America. Millions will gather to seek His guidance and protection for our national and local leaders, our communities, and our families.
On February 19, 1795, President George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving, and since that time there have been many days of national prayer in America. In 1952 Congress established an official National Day of Prayer, and in 1988 set aside the 1st Thursday in May for that purpose.
"Prayer... America's Hope" is this year's theme, based on Psalm 33:22:
"Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.""Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence upon God," said Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. "However, there has been a concerted effort by a small but determined number of people who have tried to prohibit all public references to the Creator, whether it be in the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, or a simple act of corporate prayer. This is unconscionable for a free society."
Need Something To Pray For?
- Pray for Government: From the President and Congress and Supreme Court down to our local mayors and town councils, our government officials need prayer for guidance and wisdom. Whether or not we agree with them politically, these men and women are in positions of authority, and they need our prayers, not just on Thursday, but constantly.
- Pray for Military: There are plenty of miracle stories among America's soldiers about times they've witnessed amazing protection during deadly situations. Keep praying for our soldiers on the field as well as for their leadership all the way up to the decision-makers in the Pentagon. Also remember the families of the fallen, who continue to grieve long after the battles are over.
- Pray for Media: We need an honest and unbiased media in America that will give straight-forward news. We also need to pray for righteous role models in the sports and entertainment industries. As we enjoy the many media outlets available to us, we need to be careful about the influences to which we expose ourselves and our children, and we need to seek input that will further our true purpose on this planet. Pray for America's heart to be moved regarding these things.
- Pray for Business: This means far more than praying for the economy. We need to pray for honest and ethical behavior in America's businesses. The United States is a nation of business, and righteous and wise business practices lead to prosperity just as corruption and greed have lead to destruction. We need to practice excellence in our businesses.
- Pray for Education: The schools of America were once founded on the Bible. A knowledge of the Bible was considered an integral part of education, and literacy was vital to being able to read God's Word. Over the past fifty years, that attitude has completely changed in our education system. And despite vast amounts of money and effort, our schools are riddled with apathy, illiteracy, and violence. We need to pray for our schools and the students in those schools. We also need to pray for our teachers and the policy makers who affect education decisions, and we need to pray that effective new ideas (or effective old ideas) will be free to make an impact.
- Pray for Church: Our pastors and their families need constant, daily prayer. They need to be able to lead their local bodies through the strength and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and they need protection and encouragement in the midst of constant stresses and temptations. We also need to pray for the Church across America and across the world. We are a Body, and when one member is hurting, we all suffer. We need to care for one another.
- Pray for Family: We were all raised by somebody. Family is the foundation of society, and if our homes are filled with abuse and neglect and poor examples, our country is in serious trouble. We need to pray for marriage in America, for loving husband and wife relationships in homes where children are lovingly cared for. We need our homes to be places where parents practice what they preach and demonstrate to children how wise and healthy decisions are made. We also need to pray for upcoming legislation and court cases that will affect the Family.
Please join others in your city or church, or start your own prayer gathering on Thursday. There are prayer events being held in communities from Seattle to Washington DC and from Los Angeles to Augusta to Ft. Lauderdale. Prayer warriors are meeting at city halls and parks, schools and military bases, prisons and homeless shelters and even gas stations! Gather wherever you can, and join hearts with other believers to seek God for our nation, our communities and our families.
The World trusts in riches and power and prestige, but these things are temporary and can be lost in a day - as we have seen repeatedly in recent years. Only God is always faithful. Only God is holy and incorruptible. Only God can provide real safety and strength. Only God gives us true hope.
"Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore." - Psalms 86:11-12
National Day of Prayer Website - NDPTF
Find a Prayer Event In Your Area - NDPTF
Obama to Mark National Day of Prayer Privately - FOX News
Obama to be prayer day no-show - Washington Times