A Prayer to Prepare Our Hearts for Our National Day of Prayer - Your Daily Prayer - May 2

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A Prayer to Prepare Our Hearts for Our Nation's National Day of Prayer
By Lynette Kittle

“You, Lord, are my lamp; the Lord turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall. As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless” - 2 Samuel 22:29-31

Each year, our nation has been setting aside a National Day of Prayer to gather and pray for our country. It’s a time for our citizens to collectively join together in unity and pray as one voice before God. Dr. Jerry Newcombe, Executive Director of Providence Forum, states, “The National Day of Prayer reminds us our nation needs all the prayers it can get—all year round.” Likewise, nationally known speaker, best-selling author, and president of Amerisearch, William J. Federer, explains, “As America faces challenges in the economy from terrorism and natural disasters, one can gain inspiring faith from leaders of the past.” 

America’s History of Prayer
Prayer is not new or unusual for our nation. Even before the United States of America was founded, its future leaders knew where to turn and called upon its people to pray. As Newcombe points out, “Prayer was important to George Washington. He had a pocket-sized edition of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, which he used all the time. On numerous occasions, he thanked God for His help in our becoming an independent nation.”

During the Revolutionary War, Newcombe describes how “Washington felt that the odds were so overwhelming that only God could help them win this contest. Speaking of himself in the third person, General George Washington delivered this order on July 4th, 1775—a year before independence—to his troops: ‘He requires and expects of all officers and soldiers, not engaged in actual duty, a punctual attendance on Divine service, to implore the blessing of Heaven upon the means used for our safety and defense.’" 

More Presidents Who Called for National Days of Prayer
Throughout America’s history, our leaders have turned our nation to prayer. America’s 33rd President, Harry S. Truman, made the National Day of Prayer an annual observance in 1952, stating: “In times of national crisis when we are striving to strengthen the foundations of peace...we stand in special need of Divine support.”

Richard M. Nixon, our 37th President, called our nation to prayer in April 1970 for Apollo 13 astronauts who were in crisis. After their safe return, he called for Sunday, April 19, 1970, as a National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving. On May 5, 1988, our 40th President, Ronald Reagan, established the National Day of Prayer to be held each year on the first Thursday in May, saying: “Americans in every generation have turned to their Maker in prayer…We have acknowledged...our dependence on Almighty God.” As well, our 43rd President, George W. Bush, declared Days of Prayer after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina.

Why Pray?
1 Timothy 2:1-3 encourages us to pray for our national leaders. “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to acknowledge the truth.” Newcombe notes how humility is key to our praying for our nation, reminding us how God does not favor pride and arrogance. Proverbs 16:18 explains how “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Let’s Pray:

Dear Father,
We come to you as a nation, asking for Your mercy. As Proverbs 28:13 explains, “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” Help us, O Lord, as a country to humble ourselves before You, as James 4:10 instructs us to do. “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”

With repentant hearts, we come before You for forgiveness. Examine our ways, Father, and help us to return to You, as Lamentations 3:40 urges, “Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord.” Strengthen our leaders to resist and reject the temptation of corruption. Give them new hearts, like Ezekiel 36:26 describes, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Like 2 Chronicles 7:14 urges, lead our national leaders and citizens to Salvation in Jesus Christ. “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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
In Jesus’ name, Amen

Photo credit: ©Getty Images Signature,aroslavKryuchka and artpipi via Canva Pro

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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