Events are scheduled in towns and counties across the nation for Thursday’s observance of the 2013 National Day of Prayer.
The National observance, scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. (EST) tomorrow, will be held at Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and streamed live on the Internet.
Those participating include Honorary Chairman Greg Laurie, James and Shirley Dobson, Congressman Robert Aderholt, Vonette Bright, Pat Boone, Congressman Frank Wolf, Wintley Phipps, Chaplain Barry Black, The Annie Moses Band, Dick Eastman, David Butts and John Bornschein.
The theme of this year’s event is “Pray America, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men,” according to the National Day of Prayer web site.
Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer task force, wrote: “One of my favorite Scripture verses is 2 Chronicles 7:14: ‘If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’ As I reflect on this verse, I am encouraged. Prayer groups are springing up throughout America. Our nation’s leaders are openly asking for prayer support from the public. … In the midst of our tumultuous times, God may be preparing hearts for a new openness to seeking Him through the lifeline of prayer.”
Matthew 12:21 is the featured verse of Scripture: “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, wrote the 2013 National Prayer. It reads:
“Father, we come to You to pray for our nation, the United States of America.
How You have blessed us through the years, Lord! We rightly sing, “America, America, God shed His grace on thee.” Yet we see trouble in our culture today. We see the breakdown of the family, crippling addictions, and random acts of horrific violence.
Lord, we need Your help in America. In recent days, we have done our best to remove Your Word and Your counsel from our courtrooms, classrooms and culture. It seems, as President Lincoln once said, that we have “forgotten God.” But Lord, You have not forgotten us! You can bless and help and revive our country again.
Scripture tells us that “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs14:34). Lord, in Your mercy, we ask that You would exalt our country again. We have had a number of great awakenings in America. We have experienced times of refreshing, and revivals that changed not only the spiritual but also the moral landscape. As the psalmist said, “Will You not revive us again, so that Your people may rejoice in You?” (Psalm 85:6)
That is our prayer for America today, Lord. Send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to you. You have told us if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek Your face and turn from our wicked ways, that You will forgive our sins and heal our land. (2 Chronicles7:14)
Forgive us today, Lord, and heal this troubled land that we love so much.
We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ.”
At a prayer breakfast held Tuesday, N.C. Commerce Secretary and Presbyterian lay pastor Sharon Decker told the 2,000 gathered to make time for daily prayer in their lives, love others as the Bible commands, and not to forget to love and nurture themselves “so there’s more of you to give away for Christ’s sake every day.”
“We have to learn to be still,” said Decker, according to an article in The Charlotte Observer. “The way most of us live our lives is ‘just keep moving, just keep moving.’ Yet God calls us to a still, quiet space. You can no more have a great, loving relationship with the God that created you without spending time with that God than you can have a good marriage without spending time with your spouse.”
The Presidential Prayer Team web site offers prayer tools to “use as a catalyst to dedicated and disciplined prayer for our President, our nation, our leaders and our troops. Our tools are designed to be able to share with others so that our prayers on behalf of our nation multiply across the country. As the Lord has promised, prayer will transform our nation by transforming individual lives, one heart at a time.”
In order to help pray for the nation’s leaders, the Presidential Prayer Team has a prayer guide available for download on its web site, which lists the nation’s leaders. The national leaders (List current as of April 10, 2013) include:
- President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama
In order of succession to the Presidency:
- Vice President – Joseph Biden
- Speaker of the House of Representatives – John Boehner
- President pro tempore of the Senate – Patrick Leahy
- Secretary of State – John Kerry
- Secretary of the Treasury – Jacob Lew
- Secretary of Defense – Chuck Hagel
- Attorney General – Eric H. Holder Jr.
- Secretary of the Interior – Sally Jewell
- Secretary of Agriculture – Thomas Vilsack
- Secretary of Commerce – Awaiting Nominee
- Secretary of Labor – Tom Perez, Nominee
- Secretary of Health and Human Services – Kathleen Sebelius
- Secretary of Housing and Urban Development – Shaun Donovan
- Secretary of Transportation – Awaiting Nominee
- Secretary of Energy – Ernest J. Moritz, Nominee
- Secretary of Education – Arne Duncan
- Secretary of Veterans Affairs – Eric Shinseki
- Secretary of Homeland Security – Janet Napolitano
- Members of Congress in the House of Representatives and Senate
- All Branches of the Armed Forces
- The U.S. Supreme Court, Federal and Appellate Courts
- Your local elected officials