There is power in prayer. That’s why millions of Americans have set aside a day, Thursday, May 3, as the National Day of Prayer. For Christians across the globe, the historic day serves as a symbolic remembrance that their help comes from God. This year marks the 61st annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
“This year’s theme, ‘One Nation Under God,’ is based on Psalm 33:12, which reminds us that ‘blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,’” said National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder James Dobson.
“At this perilous and uncertain juncture in our country’s history, it is critical that we remain in prayer,” she explained. “The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers, and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty’s guidance, protection and blessing—not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.”
“In our churches, we can pray every Sunday, on Wednesdays and at other times throughout the week,” said John Bornschein, vice chairman of National Day of Prayer Task Force (NDPTF). “However, there is something special about a standing, stone memorial to recognize that we are going to put aside the busyness of our day, even for an hour or 30 minutes, to say, ‘Today is a day that I recognize to pray on behalf of my nation, neighbors and community.’”
Although organized prayer dates back to the foundation of our country, officials reported that every year, they have seen double-digit growth.
“This is reflected in the sheer number of events that are happening, the need for prayer and the outpouring to our offices of how people have organized prayer throughout the year, not just on that first Thursday,” Bornschein noted. “So, it has really become a 12-month strategy of organizing effective and powerful prayer in our community.
“Rather than just simply organizing an event, it truly is a prayer movement now. It is far bigger than us and we are delighted to be a part of it,” he said.
There are countless stories that pour into the NDPTF offices, which reflect upon the power of transformation through prayer in healing, restoration and God’s opening the floodgate of blessing.
As the movement takes off globally, individuals and churches are being creative about the ways they are expressing unity in prayer. There have been motorcycle and truck rallies leading up to the first Thursday in May. National Day of Prayer for Truckers just occurred. There will also be an airplane rally, in which airplanes cover every capital and pray for every capital from the air.
An all-night prayer service at The Dream Center in Los Angeles on May 3 is another creative approach to prayer.
Matthew Barnett, author of The Cause Within You and founding pastor of The Dream Center, Los Angeles, said, “We are doing an old-school, all-night prayer meeting, where we just seek God. People can come to pray for 30 minutes, an hour or nine hours.”
He said prayer is at the heart of The Dream Center. There have been times when they have called a meeting, sat on the floor and prayed and asked God to do the supernatural. It might have been at a time when $50,000 was needed to keep the lights on, so that they could continue to minister to all of the hurting people.
“Prayer has been the source that has kept this place going,” Barnett said. “When you’re housing 700 people, you learn really quick that the only way to accomplish the things that God has put on your heart is through prayer.”
Michael Hohman, regional director for the Northeast Florida National Day of Prayer Task Force, agreed: “When we are unified, we can see the demonstration of God’s commanded blessing.”
As Christians unite, prayers will be offered for the government, military, media, business, education, church and family.
“My hope is that The National Day of Prayer would encourage and bring awareness to believers that prayer should be an everyday event in their lives. Communication with the Holy Spirit, relationship with God is all based in prayer,” Hohman said. “For the unbeliever, I pray that it would provoke an unbeliever to a place of desiring God, as they see believers come together as one.”
Hohman is involved in leading a Jacksonville, Fla., event on May 3 at the University of North Florida’s Lazzara Theatre, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Civic, business and pastoral leaders will come together to pray for our nation, state and community. Supermodel Kim Alexis and author Charles Martin will be among the distinguished guests. Click here for more information.
On a national level, author, founder of Turning Point Ministries and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church, David Jeremiah—who serves as the 2012 Honorary Chairman of the NDP Task Force—will give the keynote address on May 3 at the National Observance in Washington, D.C. The live broadcast event, from 9 a.m. to noon EST, will be held at the Cannon House Office Building and will feature many dignitaries and honored guests, including James and Shirley Dobson and Azusa Pacific Men’s Chorale, among others.
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