The platform of the American Prayer Initiative is a simple one. It is to inspire people to “return to the God upon whom this country was founded.”
The operative word here is prayer.
During a recent meeting in Washington, D.C., a group of influential Christian women—including Vonette Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, and Chair of the National Day of Prayer Shirley Dobson—banded together to create the American Prayer Initiative.
A website, americanprayerinitiative.org, was set up with a 31-day calendar that prompts individuals to pray 60 seconds each day of every month on a specific topic until Election Day, Nov. 6.
Prayer topics include life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, as the Declaration of Independence suggests; as well as justice, domestic tranquility, defense, the general welfare and the blessings of liberty, as the Preamble to the Constitution denotes.
“The website is simple enough that we didn’t want to drive people away,” says Nancy Schulze, a member of the committee, founder of the Congressional Wives Speakers Bureau and wife of former nine-term congressman Dick Schulze. “We didn’t want to overload the website. It’s simply one minute that everyone can take out of their day to pray for their country. Those prayers are sorely needed right now.”
The main goal of the American Prayer Initiative, however, is to help America return to its core values set down in the 18th century by the Founding Fathers.
“The prayer topics and prayers themselves are designed to strategically address issues in our founding documents and to draw novices and seasoned prayer warriors alike into prayer for the reclaiming and rebuilding of America on her founding roots and principles,” Schulze said.
The movement was born out of a prayer and accountability partnership between Schulze and Bright surrounding the Christian Worldview program established by Chuck Colson. The two felt as if they “had to try to do something to help change the culture of this country.”
While Bright made phone calls to some of her influential friends in the Christian community, Schulze gathered together some of her friends in the political arena. They all met in Washington for a “one-day pow-wow.”
“We had enough spiritual, intellectual and political firepower in that room that day to start any kind of movement,” Schulze said. “We weren’t out to start an organization, we were just there for a very intense day of discussion.
“We decided at the end of the day that no movement that we could start would be sustainable unless we the people come back to our first love as a nation. Thus, the American Prayer Initiative was the result.”
Other women who gathered for the meeting include Penny Nance, executive director of Concerned Women for America; Anita Staver, attorney and president of Liberty Counsel; Devi Titus, president of Global Pastors Wives Network; Kathy Bright, national director of Bright Media and Discover God 4Kids; and Jennifer Kemp, daughter of the late Jack Kemp, a former long-time congressman from New York.
Schulze said there are two other members of the movement who are currently running for influential offices in this country who wished to remain anonymous so that, according to Schulze, “there would be no complications in their campaigns.”
Schulze said she already has gotten a great deal of positive feedback about the website and the prayer movement.
“One thing we are finding is that men really like this website,” she said. “There was a man next to me, and he started telling me about the prayer initiative. He pulled out his iPhone and showed me, and I told him all about my involvement. That was totally unsolicited, but it was so great to see that the website is having that much appeal.”