The National Day of Prayer is American annual tradition that is currently held on the first Thursday of May. Its beginnings were from colonial times. General George Washington acknowledged a day of “fasting, humiliation and prayer” that was proclaimed by the Continental Congress and was to be held on Thursday, May 6, 1779. Although most Presidents have signed a proclamation each year for a particular day each year (with the exclusion of Presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson), it wasn’t until 1952 when President Harry Truman signed into law the annual observance that we know today “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals”. It was in 1988 that the law was amended through President Reagan to establish the first Thursday of May for this day.
In this year of our Lord 2016, there is much to prayerfully consider. There is a growing sense of uncertainty among many groups of people in our country as seen through this year’s presidential primary. There is a growing polarization throughout our country that is difficult to describe from a secular perspective because there are so many “issues” of concern being raised.
For the Christian disciple these demonstrations appear to some to be a continued accumulation and categorization of worldly matters that are being expressed with passion and urgency. Which in of themselves are not necessarily wrong understandings or conclusions per say, because we fully understand that the Lord knows exactly what all of the needs are. Yet, it is the spiritual component, the Biblically taught relationship process, that is not widely published and most evidently not recognized by the very people who need to see and hear a different way toward practical and lasting resolutions.
Ephesians 6:12 ESV
12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
So what can each of us do that will make a real/tangible impact? The simplest answer is prayer. But why prayer and not something else? The answer you can read from the following Scriptures.
2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV
14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Matthew 6:6-7 ESV
6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. 7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
Prayer is simple. However, it is this spiritual exercise that a great many Christians are not embracing and doing and most assuredly most are not praying enough! How do I know this? Well I know firsthand that my prayer time has not been a consistent discipline, and I know it ought to be. We have examples throughout the Bible where choices were made to make that time are reality. Daniel was noted as praying three times a day, and many times Jesus was noted to have gone to pray all night!
Daniel 6:13 NIV
13 Then they said to the king, “Daniel, who is one of the exiles from Judah, pays no attention to you, Your Majesty, or to the decree you put in writing. He still prays a day.”
Mark 6:46-48b NIV
46 After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray. 47 Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. 48 He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake.
So let me suggest to you that if you don’t already have a dedicated prayer discipline going, that there’s no time like the present to get started! Some people speak their prayers, some speak them yet internally, and some write out their prayers. The good thing about writing them down is you can go back later and see how the Lord worked in and through that situation, which then gives you a new opportunity to follow up!
The National Day of Prayer for 2016 is coming up in just a couple days where many cities and counties throughout the country have an NDP event. We would recommend for you to locate and attend a local NDP event! There’s probably one that’s close to where you live!
If you live in the Inland Empire area of Southern California there is an NDP event that is being hosted by Eagle Ridge Church in Menifee California, to which Moto Ministries has been invited to be one of the prayer partners! This event will run from 6pm to 8pm and we would encourage you to come and offer your sacrifice of prayer with everyone in attendance!
If you can’t make it to a local NDP event, please take a look at the event schedule below to see some suggestions of what you could be praying for in your own community!
We would encourage each of you ask the Lord in prayer and listen to His Spirit for how to get started and how to stay committed to your communication time with Him! We each need to know the peace of God within the context of our lives. He has promised to take care of all our needs if we would simply go to His Throne of Grace and tell him!
Philippians 4:6-7 NIV
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.