“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer.” 1 Peter 3:12
This coming Thursday, May 1 is the “National Day of Prayer” when many people of different faiths gather together to pray to God. As Christians know, those of us who are saved by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, every day is a day of prayer. However, the National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May and designated by the United States Congress when Americans of every faith are asked “to turn to God in prayer.”
Throughout our country’s history beginning in 1775 with the Continental Congress when there was allocated a time of prayer in forming a new nation, there have been calls for a day of prayer, including from President Lincoln in 1863. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law in the United States. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.
In recent years, there has been an outcry from humanists and atheists to stop the National Day of Prayer, stating that it is a “threat” to the separation of church and state. For instance, Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island recently declared May 1 in his state as a “Day of Reason,” proclaiming that man’s reasoning ability, instead of prayer to God, has “proven to offer hope for human survival upon Earth by cultivating intelligent, moral, and ethical interaction among people.” (AP)
However, millions of Christians will gather throughout our country on May 1 to pray for our nation. While many people in our country don’t believe in Jesus Christ, God, or the power of prayer. We, as Christians, know that “the prayers of a righteous man are powerful and effective” (James 5:16). We humble ourselves as children of God, declared righteous by God’s grace through faith in Christ (Ephesians 2:8-9), and turn to God for guidance, protection, forgiveness, and wisdom.
Listen to 2 Chronicles 7:11:
“If My people, who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
This Thursday is the “National Day of Prayer,” but the truth be known, for Christians, who humble ourselves before the Lord, every day is a day of prayer. Let’s commit ourselves to join with millions of Christians this Thursday to pray for our nation, and also commit ourselves to join together everyday as the people of God who know the power of prayer – and pray!
May God bless you with His grace, love and truth!