Last Thursday was the 60th Annual National Day of Prayer. Millions of people joined in prayer for America and its leadership at thousands of public events around the country. Mariners Church hosted two one-hour sessions for prayer in its picturesque chapel.
“I love the National Day of Prayer because I believe that prayer is an incredible gift we have been given,” said Shelly Juskiewicz, Pastor of Women’s Ministries, as she welcomed those who came for the midday event. “I can’t make sense of many of the things that take place in the world around us, but I know I can trust God.”
This year’s theme for the day, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God” is based on the Bible verse Psalm 91:2, which states, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
The yearly National Day of Prayer has great significance for our country. The official website states that “It enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call to us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.”
Shelly and other leaders introduced seven key topics, also called the Seven Centers of Power, and then led the group in prayer. I spoke to several people later who hadn’t been able to attend a prayer gathering, but were very interested in the prayer suggestions. I heard a repeated sentiment that said, if ever there was a time to pray for our country, it is now. Several people also voiced that the needs for prayer are so overwhelming that they didn’t know where to begin.
I thought it might be helpful to list those seven topics, and a brief synopsis of the suggested ways to pray that were given at the service. These important areas clearly need concerted prayer on a regular basis:
GOVERNMENT: Pray that God protects our way of life, that He would embed men and women in office who are committed to serving their constituents with integrity. Pray for our leaders, as well as the judges in our courts. Ask God to grant them wisdom.
MEDIA: Pray that God provides the many media with people committed to accuracy and integrity. Pray for wholesome godly values to be promoted.
EDUCATION: Pray for our nation’s public school teachers, administrators and students. Ask God to raise up a new generation of dedicated educators who will commit themselves not only to an honest, accurate presentation of all subject matter, but who will also serve as positive role models for their students.
BUSINESS: Pray that God will provide business leaders who are committed to conducting themselves honorably. Pray for the economy and the unemployed.
MILITARY: Pray for God’s protection for the men and women as they secure our liberty both at home and abroad. Pray for their families. Pray also for God to comfort those who have lost a loved one in battle.
FAMILY: Pray for loving homes that model virtues such as sacrifice, patience and unconditional love. Pray that families will follow godly principles.
CHURCH: Pray that God spark a revival throughout our nation, pray that He provide godly ministers with strength and accountability so that they maintain steadfastness in their vital callings.
Last Thursday God heard countless prayers on behalf of these and many other important issues for our country and our world. Amid the prayers there were also plenty of praises thanking God for who He is, and that He answers prayers.
“God calls us to pray, God hears when we pray, and God answers our prayers,” said Janel Holaday, Administrative Assistant in Women’s Ministries. “It’s so important for us to come together and pray. Of course you can pray anytime, anywhere, but the National Day of Prayer is a privilege we have in our country. One day we might not have this privilege.”
We certainly don’t have to wait until the first Thursday in May of next year to pray for our country. The National Day of Prayer committee also created the 7×7 Campaign, encouraging people to pray for one of the Seven Centers of Power every day of the week. Perhaps in addition to the National Day of Prayer, we could also have A National Way of Prayer.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected].