Thursday, May 3, 2012 is the 61st Annual Observance of The National Day of Prayer
Whether or not this nation was created as a Christian nation, the fact that our founders were people of faith and the fact that this nation was built on Judeo-Christian values cannot be disputed. As we noted on the Anniversary of the Landing at Cape Henry, the settling of our Commonwealth began with three days of prayer and fasting.
And since that time, we have been a nation of prayer.
Recognizing that, in 1952 a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.
Our nation has always turned to prayer in times of crisis. In the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation for a day of prayer and fasting:
Now, therefore, in compliance with the request, and fully concurring in the views of the Senate, I do, by this my proclamation, designate and set apart Thursday, the 30th. day of April, 1863, as a day of national humiliation, fasting and prayer. And I do hereby request all the People to abstain, on that day, from their ordinary secular pursuits, and to unite, at their several places of public worship and their respective homes, in keeping the day holy to the Lord, and devoted to the humble discharge of the religious duties proper to that solemn occasion.
On October 19, 1917, following the April entrance into World War I, Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation:
In view of the entrance of our nation into the vast and awful war which now afflicts the greater part of the world…I set apart…a day upon which our people should…offer concerted prayer to Almighty God for His divine aid in the success of our arms.
After the landing at Normandy, Franklin D. Roosevelt lead the nation in prayer on June 6, 1944.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
In the hours and days following the attacks on 9/11/01, the nation’s places of worship were full as a heartbroken people sought comfort and answers.
The faith of our nation is in our motto, it’s in our pledge it’s in our National Anthem. And whether or not we continue to exhibit that faith the history is undeniable. For over 230 years we have been a nation of prayer.
Scripture tells us:
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
We as a nation have indeed been blessed.
So as we collectively pause for a National Day of Prayer, remember that, be thankful for that. Whether you choose to pray in your house of workship, in your home, at your desk, in your car…stop…think…pray.
2012 NATIONAL PRAYER
Dr. David Jeremiah – NDP Honorary Chairman
Every good gift and perfect gift comes from You. You are a faithful God and Your mercy endures forever.
You have promised to bless the nation that trusts in You. Our currency proclaims “In God We Trust,” but in our culture we are far from You.
In the words of the prophet Daniel, “We have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments.”
We come before You once more, seeking Your forgiveness and mercy. You, O God, are our only hope… Hear our prayer and, for Your honor’s sake, shine Your face upon this nation.
Give our leaders the desire to seek Your wisdom and the courage to follow Your guidance… and watch over the men and women of our armed forces as they sacrifice for the cause of freedom.
We give You thanks for all You have done for us, and we earnestly pray that You will help us become, once again, a nation whose God is the Lord.
In the name of Your Son, and our Savior, we pray this prayer.