Prayer takes center stage on a national scale Thursday, May 1 when the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer will be observed.
The theme of this year’s event, organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, is “One Voice United in Prayer,” inspired by a passage of Scripture from Romans 15:6, which reads, “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May that allows people of all faiths to pray for the United States of America. Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, the national observance is based on the understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
“Prayer is the primary way we communicate with God,” said Carmen Fowler LaBerge, president of the Presbyterian Lay Committee. “It is significant that prayer is demonstrated and commended by God’s people throughout the Scriptures. Jesus not only takes the time to teach His disciples how to pray, He also prays for them. So, we pray.”
Throughout May 1, prayer services will take place in communities all across America. In those services prayers will be offered for a number of groups of people in our nation. Among them are
- the government, leaders, judges and courts;
- the federal government, including the president, vice president and members of Congress;
- state and local governments and their leaders;
- military (branches of the armed services as well as their members);
- the media;
- church; and
“But why pray for the nation? Again because we are commanded by God to do so,” LaBerge offered. “I Timothy 2:1-4 urges the believer to pray for all people including all those in authority. Why? The answer Paul gives is ‘in order that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.’ The passage also suggests ‘how’ we ought to pray: unto salvation, because God ‘wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.’”
As prayers are lifted for America, the goal is to have citizens realize that it is the sovereign God who rules this country, and it is He who will restore the nation.
National Day of Prayer brings people together for a time of corporate prayer and to equip them to make their prayers through a four-step process:
Praise – Thank God for what He already has accomplished through Jesus.
Repent – Confess our sins and shortcomings, repenting personally and on behalf of our nation.
Ask – Ask God to reveal truth and turn hearts back toward Him, and bring healing.
Yield – Yield to the Lord and recognize that He hears our prayer and will answer according to His will. He is ready to provide guidance and direction.
People across America are encouraged to participate by taking time out of their schedules to attend a prayer service; watching the National Observance in Washington D.C., which will be broadcast live on GOD TV (DirecTV channel 365) and their networks on May 1 or by watching live on the National Day of Prayer web site; and by reading and praying the National Prayer, penned by Anne Graham Lotz, honorary chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and daughter of famed Evangelist Billy Graham.
“I will pray on the National Day of Prayer as I do every day for those in authority,” LaBerge said. “Specifically I pray that they come to a knowledge of the Truth, who is Christ the Lord. In that I know that I am always praying in accordance with God’s will and unto our national good.”
For additional information about National Day of Prayer, visit http://nationaldayofprayer.org/.