Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
Why is today the National Day of Prayer?
In 1775, the Second Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" to be observed by the Colonies. John Adams reported that this special day was more widely observed than church attendance on Sunday. Responding to this success, Congress determined to call for a day of prayer and fasting each spring, and a day of thanksgiving and praise each fall.
Each president after Thomas Jefferson (except for Andrew Jackson) proclaimed a national day of prayer on special occasions or annually during the spring. In 1952, during the Korean War, Billy Graham stated, "What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before Almighty God in prayer. What a thrill would sweep this country. What renewed hope and courage would grip the Americans at this hour of peril."
In response, members of Congress introduced a joint resolution for an annual National Day of Prayer. On April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed the bill, which left the annual date for subsequent presidents to choose. Fast forward to 1988, when President Ronald Reagan signed into law a bill designating the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.
Today's prayer is being offered by millions of Christians in America and around the world. It was written by Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church and my longtime friend. I am praying it this morning, and invite you to join me:
We come to You in the Name that is above every name—Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Our hearts cry out to You.
Knowing that You are a prayer-answering, faithful God—the One we trust in times like these—we ask that You renew our spirits, revive our churches, and heal our land.
We repent of our sins and ask for Your grace and power to save us. Hear our cry, oh God, and pour out Your Spirit upon us that we may walk in obedience to Your Word.
We are desperate for Your tender mercies. We are broken and humbled before You.
Forgive us, and in the power of Your great love, lift us up to live in Your righteousness.
We pray for our beloved nation. May we repent and return to You and be a light to the nations. And we pray for our leaders and ask that You give them wisdom and faith to follow You.
Preserve and protect us, for You are our refuge and only hope.
Deliver us from all fears except to fear You, and may we courageously stand in the Truth that sets us free.
We pray with expectant faith and grateful hearts.
In Jesus’ name, our Savior.
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Today is the National Day of Prayer and we believe in the power of prayer to change a nation and change lives! If you are not sure how to pray, don't despair!
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Category: 5 Facts
The Rev. Randy Schoof of Aurora's Warehouse Church stops with fellow prayer walkers in front of the Paramount Theater in Aurora Thursday.
Participants in a prayer walk Thursday in Aurora stop for a moment of prayer at the Paramount Theater downtown.
Participants in a prayer event walk in downtown Aurora Thursday.
Galena Boulevard in Aurora was filled with its usual traffic Thursday, but the bright and sunny skies and cool breezes brought something else to the area between Orchard Road and Route 59.
Throughout the country, Thursday was recognized as the National Day of Prayer, which was celebrated in Aurora by a prayer walk, which kicked off on the southwest corner of Orchard Road and West Galena Boulevard and continued 12 miles east to Route 59.
According to organizers, the history of a National Day of Prayer dates back to 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. President Abraham Lincoln many years later proclaimed a day of "fasting and prayer" back in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution proposed by Congress and signed by President Harry Truman declared an annual, National Day of Prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.At least 30 walkers took part in a portion of the journey, which featured stops along the way at more than a dozen places including the Countryside Care Center, WestAurora High School, the Paramount Theater and the Fox Valley United Way. Residents were encouraged to either join the all-day walk or participate in neighborhood walks.
A large group of walkers arrived at the Paramount Theater in downtown Aurora in the late morning and joined together in prayer before moving on to their next stop at the United Way. The Rev. Randy Schoof of the Warehouse Church in Aurora at 308 E. Galena Blvd. said this was the 12th year he had participated in the prayer walk and that the number of participants "has remained pretty consistent over the past several years."
"We've got a pretty good turnout here today," Schoof said as he surveyed the crowd which included babies in strollers, teens, and a wide age range of adults. "It's most important that the local churches here be involved. This is an opportunity for Jesus' people to pray together for our city."
Schoof said he and his fellow walkers were grateful for the support they had been receiving along the road in the way of water and snacks to eat.
"We've received water and food at the various stops as well as 'care packages' and we're stopping for lunch here in the downtown area in order to support some of the local restaurants," he said. "The walking hasn't been difficult, and the physical effort is a small sacrifice to make to help the community."
Walkers this year included veterans as well as first-time participants. Sarah Gonzales of Aurora said she wanted to walk Thursday to help support her community.
"We're praying for the hospitals, and the schools and the city, and to stop things like abortion," she said. "We also pray for the young people that their parents will love them and take care of them."
Maria Arredondo of Aurora said she has participated in walks four or five times before and that she was praying "for the safety of our city."
"We want people to seek the Lord and realize that He has a solution for everything," Arredondo said.
Marlene Ruiz of Aurora said Thursday's walk was the first she had attempted and she also was hopeful that positive change would come to Aurora.
"I also want to pray for our community," Ruiz said. "We know that we need a change in the hearts of people, and everybody needs Jesus."
David Sharos is a freelance reporter
PRAYERS FOR UNITY AND REVIVAL
Unity: Agreeing to love each other so the world will know we are Jesus’ disciples.
Revival: Spiritual awakening, renewed love for God, desire for holiness and humility, passion for His Word, conviction
of personal and corporate sin, repentance, and new souls entering the Kingdom of God.
Praying for: Unity in the Church
Unity in Our Nation
Unity Among Races
Unity Between Genders
Unity Among Generations
Returning to the Lord
Unity in the Church
Father God, we bless Your Church, the Bride. Help us honor her and all her attendants. Help us not to split hairs over doctrine and tradition, and to have true love for one another, and to be patient and kind to other Christians who don't believe exactly as we do.
Help us see the Body of Christ as a whole, not fragmented, so we will not be fragmented. Help us see Your Bride as glorious and beautiful, and support Your Church. Help us not to hide in our buildings but to let our light shine for the world to see and glorify You.
Help us clear the slate of all past or ongoing offenses toward the Church at large, and write afresh on our slate, "LOVE."
We speak life to the Church and its shepherds. Help us honor and respect Your shepherds without idolatry. Help us love them and help them love each other.
Help us to walk worthy of the calling with which we were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Unity in Our Nation
Father God, You are the Creator of everything that was made and Lord of all, who is faithful and just to forgive our sins when we confess them to You. Give us understanding of our waywardness so we can repent and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. Forgive the people of our nation.
Create in us clean hearts and renew a right spirit within us.
We pray for a release of faith in our nation, and declare that Christians shall walk in and display righteousness. We call for an end to the famine of Your Word and declare hunger among the people for truth. We call for a generation of peacemakers, not compromisers. And as the people are cleansed, we pray that the land will be healed.
Let God arise, our enemies be scattered, and their plans and devices be dismantled. We ask for a release of truth to make them free from deception and bondage so they will be saved.
Lord, keep this nation under Your care; and guide us in the way of justice and truth. Let Your ways be known upon the earth, and Your saving grace among all nations. Let the needy not be forgotten, nor the hope of the poor be taken away. Create in us clean hearts, O God, and sustain us with Your Holy Spirit, that there may be peace in Your Church and in the whole world. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Unity Among Races
Father God, forgive us for segregating ourselves by not honoring the many races You have created.
Forgive us for our prejudices against each other. For You have said not to think of ourselves more highly than we ought, but rather to think of ourselves with sober judgment, according to the faith You have distributed to each of us.
To us who are justified by Jesus’ blood, You have given the ministry of reconciliation. Just as You desire that all people be reconciled to You, help us all to be fully reconciled to one another. Help us to love one another as
You have loved us.
You have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent
Your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are afar off and to those who are near. Grant that people everywhere who seek after You will find You. Bring all nations into Your fold. Pour out Your Spirit on all flesh. And hasten the coming of Your Kingdom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Unity Between Genders
Father God, You have created us male and female in Your image.
Forgive us for not honoring each other, for not recognizing the giftings you have placed in each person, and for the hurt we have inflicted on each other.
Your Word says we are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female; for we are all one in Christ Jesus.
Grant that all those who confess the name of Jesus Christ may agree in the truth of Your Holy Word, and live in unity and godly love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Unity Among Generations
Father God, as the older generation passes the standard to the younger generation, help each honor and support the other. Forgive us all for pride, arrogance and presumption about how we think things should be done – over transitions, translations and traditions.
Help the elders to applaud, encourage and stand beside the youth as they find their identity in You. Help them extend love instead of criticism,inclusion instead of rejection, and flexibility instead of rigidity. Help us all know that where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more. Help us know Your Word so we are doers of it and not hearers only.
Help the elders be examples to the flock rather than lords over it. Help the youth submit to the elders with humility. And help us all cast our cares upon You because You care for us. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Returning to the Lord
Merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against You in thought, word and deed, by what we have done and what we have left undone. We have not loved You with our whole hearts. We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of Your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us, that we may delight in Your will and walk in Your ways.
Help us return to You with all our hearts, truly sorry for our sins! Help us change our lives, not just our garments, for You are gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Send us blessings instead of calamity.
Pour out Your Spirit on all people, both men and women. Let our children prophesy, our old men dream again, and our young men see visions. Show wonders in the heavens above and signs on earth below. And hear us when we call on Your name, that we will be saved.
And as Your grace abounds to us and revives us, help us fulfill Your commission to make disciples of all nations, baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey all Your commandments. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Revival (Responsive Reading)
O Lord, revive us again, that Your people may rejoice in You.
Show us Your mercy, O Lord, and grant us Your salvation.
If My people, which are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
For thus says the One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
O Lord, revive Your work in us and make us to know You. In wrath, remember mercy.
Now be not stiffnecked, as your fathers were, but yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into His sanctuary, which He has sanctified forever; and serve the Lord your God, that the fierceness of His wrath may turn away from you.
For if you turn again unto the Lord, your brethren and your children shall find compassion and salvation, for the Lord your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away His face from you, if you return unto Him.
(Unison) Return, O Lord, and have compassion on Your servants.
Satisfy us with Your mercy, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days! Restore families. Return the hearts of the fathers to the children.
Awaken Your Church! Send revival!
Compiled for the 2016 Salisbury Area National Day of Prayer Breakfast.
6:30 - 7 a.m. community prayer drew 40 people
525 people, including 25 pastors, at the NDP Prayer Breakfast
Noon observance with more prayer and praise, held in Trinity UMC due to weather
National Prayer by Dr. Tony Evans
Dear heavenly Father, we come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural
intervention on behalf of our beloved nation.
First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to
bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world.
The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to
rewrite history to deny that very fact today.
This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our
people and our institutions.
We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now
Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has
caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.
It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to
becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ.
Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your
truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.
Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience,
which is how we are appealing to You today, Father.
On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our
lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our
family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders.
We confidently invite heaven’s intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer. Amen.
by Dr. Tony Evans
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P.S. Deep Prayers for a Desperate Nation - Phil Miglioratti interviews John Bornschein, former Executive Director, National Day of Prayer Task Force