All across the country today, more than 5 million people are expected to unite their hearts under Ephesians 4:3 for the National Day of Prayer.
"Be eager to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace," Paul writes.
President Donald Trump issued a proclamation commemorating the day, saying:
On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance and protection. Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity and prosperity. Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace and strength. Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.
Prayer has been a source of guidance, strength and wisdom since the founding of our Republic. When the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to contemplate freedom from Great Britain, the delegates prayed daily for guidance. Their efforts produced the Declaration of Independence and its enumeration of the self-evident truths that we all cherish today. We believe that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Prayer sustained us and gave us the strength to endure the sacrifices and suffering of the American Revolution and to temper the triumph of victory with humility and gratitude. Notably, as one of its first acts, our newly formed Congress appointed chaplains of the House of Representatives and Senate so that all proceedings would begin with prayer.
As a Nation, we have continued to seek God in prayer, including in times of conflict and darkness. At the height of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for prayer "for the vision to see our way clearly—to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men—and to the achievement of His will to peace on earth." Decades later, following one of the darkest days in our Nation's history, President George W. Bush offered this prayer for our heartbroken country, mourning the precious souls who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001: "We ask Almighty God to watch over our Nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come. We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come."
America has known peace, prosperity, war and depression—and prayer has sustained us through it all. May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease. On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.
Many prominent believers are participating in the event and see the significance in praying for unity.
"Today is a unique and important day for our country. It represents a sacred time each year when we humbly approach our Creator, acknowledging his providential hand in the affairs of the nation we so dearly love. This is a chance for us to collectively pause from the endless conversations and debates over the issues we face, and lift our eyes toward heaven and seek the wisdom that comes from our heavenly Father," says Jentezen Franklin, pastor of Free Chapel in Georgia.
"While it is vitally important that we speak to God and let our requests be made known, I also firmly believe we must take the time to listen for his voice and discern where the Holy Spirit is leading us. Prayer is a conversation, and the Lord is eager to share his plans for us. Today, along with every other day, let's be sure to make time to listen. I am confident he is still speaking," Franklin says.
Looking for specifics to pray? Here's what the National Day of Prayer Task Force recommends:
1. Ask God to bless the United States of America.
"Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord—the people whom He has chosen as His inheritance" (Ps. 33:12).
- Ask God to bless America mercifully and give favor to the United States of America.
- Ask God to bless America spiritually in a new and fresh way and move us to return to the Lord our God.
- Ask God to bless America by raising up godly leaders in all areas of our nation: locally, regionally, statewide and nationally.
- Ask God to bless America economically so that all people in our nation will be blessed and so we can be a blessing to the entire world.
- Ask God to bless America by securing our nation from all evil and harm from within our nation and from outside; please Lord, continue to bring resolve in the North Korea issue.
2. Pray for unity in America.
"Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace" (Eph. 4:3, NIV).
- The present spiritual crisis in America is calling us to pray for and take all necessary actions to come together as a nation.
- God is the only one who can bring unity, harmony and oneness in America; therefore, we look only to Him in prayer.
- Call upon God to empower us to make every effort to live in unity, call for unity and continually forward unity in America.
3. Pray for the centers of influence in America.
"Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty" (1 Tim. 2:1-2, MEV).
- Pray for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the United States government.
- Pray for America's military, its leader, and all personnel to be protected by God, and for the courage to depend upon God.
- Pray for the members of our media in America to be life-giving truth bearers and unity contributors.
- Pray for America's businesses to have leaders of integrity, be creators of economic blessing and givers to the community.
- Pray for America's centers of education to be truth-centered, excellence-driven and bearers of opportunities.
- Pray for the churches of America to be gospel-centered in message, disciple-makers in mission and Spirit-empowered to unity.
- Pray for the families in America to return to the biblical model, reconcile with one another and be restored to love and unity.
4. Ask God for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, to become a catalytic spiritual movement across America.
"These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication" (Acts 1:14a).
- Lord, we ask You to unify Your church in America, so the church can call our nation to unity on the National Day of Prayer and in the future.
- Lord, we ask You to move each of us to make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit personally in our families, churches, workplaces and communities.
- Lord, we ask You to empower our National Day of Prayer volunteers who will lead and serve in thousands upon thousands of observances on May 3.
- Lord, we ask You to use and anoint Dr. Ronnie Floyd, the President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, as he provides leadership the entire week; but, most importantly the National Observance of the National Day of Prayer in historic Statuary Hall in the US Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, May 3, at 7:30 p.m. EDT.
- Lord, we ask You give to Dr. Floyd the exact words needed for every media interview related to the National Day of Prayer.
- Lord, we ask You to use the thousands upon thousands of observances of the National Day of Prayer to be a catalytic spiritual movement across America, ushering in the revival of the church and the next Great Spiritual Awakening in America.
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