In 1952 President Harry Truman signed a bill into law, making the National Day of Prayer for America an annual event on the first Thursday of May, encouraging millions across our nation to unite together to pray.
We've come a long way since that day.
And now, more than ever, maybe America needs more than a National Day of Prayer, however great and needed that is. Maybe America needs days of prayer, hearts that are continually shaped and changed by prayer, lives that are loving and bold because of prayer, a nation that comes back to our God with a spirit of prayer, that is continually asking for His grace and healing.
Sometimes it's hard to know where to begin or how to pray. We just know we have a deep ache in our hearts that cries out for God's mercy, and a longing to see him heal our land. And maybe other times we wonder how effective our prayers even are.
Yet God is faithful, no matter how we feel, and over all that swirls around us in our nation today.
That same power that broke prison chains, raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, the same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work still today.
He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.
May we stand together and pray for God to heal our land, and strengthen His people. May we pray for all those in authority. May we pray for God’s miraculous intervening, for blind eyes to be opened, for many to see the power of our Lord as never before.
And for times when it’s difficult to know even what to pray, we can trust these words as a place to begin, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
We are never left to fend for ourselves, wrestling in worry, consumed with fear, or driven towards hate. He reminds us He is with us, He will help us, that He hasn't lost control, but has a plan. And His purposes will prevail.
He hears our prayers, He knows our needs. There's great power in uniting together, turning our hearts towards God, and praying on behalf of America, our nation.
Remembering today this powerful truth upon which this nation was founded. We are "One Nation Under God." He is where our real hope is found, not in our leaders, not in our economy, not in the condition of our nation today, or any other day. "...my hope comes from Him." Ps. 62:5
25 Verses of Hope for America, our Nation:
“Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, Lord my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.” 1 Kings 8:28
“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.” 2 Chron. 7:14
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He choose for His inheritance.” Ps. 33:12
“He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge…” Is 33:6
It is “God who changes the times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.” Dan. 2:21
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Eph. 6:12
"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you." Is. 60:1
“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” Ps.145:18
"Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying." Rom. 12:12
"Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven." Matt.18:19
“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.” 1 Tim. 2:1-2
"And Jesus said to him, "'If You can?' All things are possible to him who believes." Mark 9:23
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phil. 4:6-7
"For kingship belongs to the Lord, and he rules over the nations." Ps. 22:28
"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will." Prov. 21:1
"Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king." 1 Pet. 2:17
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” 1 John 5:14
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jer. 17:7-8
"They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord." Ps. 112:7
“Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself; the Lord hears when I call to him.” Psalms 4:3
"Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." Zech. 4:6
"So now, our God, listen to the prayer of your servant and to his supplications, and for your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine..." Dan. 9:17
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy." Zeph. 3:17
"But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Pet. 2:9
Thank you for your great power. We praise you for your Truth. We’re grateful that you have set us free from the clutching grasp of sin and death.
Would you be with your people, extending your grace, granting your freedom, providing your protection, and empowering with your strength. We ask that you'd bring about an awakening of your presence to America as never seen before. We ask that your Name be proclaimed, that all plans to silence the Name of Jesus would be thwarted and crushed.
We pray that many would come to know you as Lord and Savior, we pray that many would see your Light, that you would open blind eyes and release those still imprisoned.
We pray that you would unify your people for the glory of your Name, that all who call themselves Christians would rise up, believing your great Truth.
Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, to listen to your words, to be willing to make a difference in this land.
We pray for all those in authority, that you would give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We ask that you would appoint strong, faithful men and women to serve this nation and our people.
We pray for your great healing on America. Shine your face on us dear God. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands.
Thank you that you are rich in mercy and full of grace. Thank you that you are forgiving and merciful. Thank you that you are strong and mighty. Thank you that you are for us and that you fight for us still today. Bring honor to your Name, Oh Lord, for You alone are worthy.
In the Powerful Name of Jesus we pray,
“Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” Is. 58:1
(Photo image via National Day of Prayer 2016)
(This prayer was first posted in May, 2015.)
Debbie McDaniel is a writer, pastor's wife, mom to three amazing kids (and a lot of pets). Join her each morning on Fresh Day Ahead's facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/DebbieWebbMcDaniel, for daily encouragement in living strong, free, hope-filled lives.
Find her also at http://twitter.com/debbmcdaniel, and http://www.debbiemcdaniel.com.