The Duty of a Nation, The Privilege of an Individual

“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God.” – President George Washington, 1789

May 7th, 2015, is the National Day of Prayer—an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May calling those of faith to pray for the American nation.

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. On May 8, 1988, Ronald Reagan signed a law designating the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.

“If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we are a Nation gone under.” – President Ronald Reagan

What to Pray
The National Day of Prayer Task force, whose mission is to “mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture,” suggests praying for government, military, media, business, education, church, and family.

Such a “call to prayer” has its basis in the Bible, in such places as 1 Timothy 2:1-4:

“I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (ESV)

The National Day of Prayer Task Force offers further suggestions for what to P.R.A.Y. by providing this acrostic:

PRAISE: Thank God for what He has already accomplished through Jesus.[1]

REPENT: Confess your sins. Repent personally and on behalf of our nation. The Lord is quick to forgive when we come humbly to Him.

ASK: Ask God to reveal truth, turn our hearts toward Him, and bring healing.

YIELD: Yield to the LORD and recognize that He has heard our prayers and will answer according to His will. He is ready to provide guidance and instruction.

It is a privilege, a comfort, and a joy to come before God in believing prayer.[2] May we be encouraged to do so today and every day.


[1] This can be summed up in John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (ESV)

[2] Hebrews 4:16Philippians 4:6

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