Thursday May 2, 2013 is the National Day of Prayer. As Christians, we are to cultivate an everyday lifestyle of unceasing prayer. And, it is right and good to put special emphasis on days of concentrated prayer seasons.
Take time on Thursday to pray. Pray alone in your secret place. Pray together with other Christians. Call on the name of the Lord.
- 1-Minute Devotional thought:
The following is a prayer written by pastor Greg Laurie, the 2013 honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer (accessed here).
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” (Proverbs 14:34). 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.
- As citizens of the City of Man: The theme and verse for this year’s National Day of Prayer (Thursday May 2) is:
Our theme for 2013 is Pray for 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. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen Matthew 12:21 as our Scripture for this year: “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
- Pray for pro-life ministry throughout our land. The horrific stories coming out of the trial of abortionist Kermit Gosnell have piqued the curiosity of many people who are thinking through long-held beliefs about their acceptance of abortion. Pray that such meditations prove fruitful for turning their heart to stand for life.
- Pray for the Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) ministry taking place at Johns Hopkins University — led by Steve Badorf:
After graduating from college with a degree in art, Steven worked as an art director in the advertising industry for nearly four years. During his third year of advertising, his local pastor approached him and asked him to consider volunteering some time with several college students who were attending their local church. At the end of that year Steven was laid off from his job in advertising, and providentially began a new vocation ministering to college students with a parachurch ministry. For six years Steven served students in southcentral Pennsylvania before attending Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelpha. When he graduated from seminary, the Chesapeake Presbytery, PCA called him to minister to students at Towson University with RUF. After six years at Towson University, Steven launched a new RUF ministry at the Johns Hopkins University where he serves today. Steven and his family reside in Baltimore, MD.
- Using the new 2013 “watchlist” produced by Open Doors, we pray for the persecuted Christians of a different country each week.
Teachers/parents, consider this a great way to introduce geography into the weekly lessons. Show students where the nation is, then pray for Christians in that place.
This week we pray for the Christians of Ethiopia, which ranks No. 15 on the watchlist:
For years, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has persecuted believers who have left their ranks or joined renewal movements. But Islamic extremism has now become the dominant source of persecution. Converts and ‘underground believers’ have to be very cautious to avoid being traced. Muslim fanatic group, Kewarjah, is repeatedly blamed for attacks against Christians in the south-west. A new law banning all religious messages and talks from public spaces is expected to bring a wave of restrictions against Christians.
Pray (1) for secret believers; there have been some violent attacks within families. (2) Violence against Christian women often goes unreported. Pray for protection for Christian women. (3) Thank God that Open Doors has been able to supply Bibles and training, as well as bicycles to pastors.
- Prayer for the nation – focusing this week on the state of Idaho. We also pray for our fellow Americans facing rising waters and flood conditions, for those who continue to struggle to find a new normal at the six month anniversary of superstorm Sandy, and for those in need of employment.
- In 2013, we will pray together by name for Christians in 50 nations, Christians in all 50 states and all the presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) and the emerging new Reformed body, ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbytreians. You are encouraged to add specific pastors, lay leaders, congregations, missionaries, new church developments and other ministries to the list by posting a comment to the blog. (Please do not publicly post the names of missionaries serving in contexts where exposing their identity would cause them harm or bring harm to those they serve in Christ’s name.) Let us kneel before the Father and ask His will be done.
- Prayers for the PCUSA: Pray for the presbyteries of the Synod of Boriquen (Puerto Rico): San Juan, Noroeste, and Suroeste.
Prayers for Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC): the Central South Presbytery (Ken Van Kampen, stated clerk).
- Prayers for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA): the churches of the Wisconsin Presbytery.
- Prayers for ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.
- Prayers for The Fellowship of Presbyterians.