The National Day of Prayer is today May 4th, the first Thursday in May. In 1952 the Congress passed a law establishing an official date for a day Americans are called to pray and meditate. Often in our history presidents have asked the nation to pray, meditate or fast but it did not become officially set aside as a specific day until 1952. It was challenged in court in 2011 but upheld as constitutional.
The Bible has a lot to say about prayer and Jesus modeled how to pray in his prayer to the Lord. You can find the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:9-13. Jesus was teaching the disciples how to pray so they would not be like the hypocrites that made loud noises to the Lord but did it all for show. Jesus would often pull away from the disciples, the crowds and pressures of his daily life and seek solace, comfort and renewal from His heavenly Father in prayer. We are told in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray continually”. James 5:13-18 tells us to pray for others, pray for the sick and pray if you are in trouble. We are told to PRAY. When our prayers are answered we are told to rejoice and praise God. What situation has brought you to your knees before Almighty God this year? Was it a death, natural disaster, troubling circumstances, problems with addictions or money problems? For what answered prayer have you thanked God? We are told in the next verse of 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Prayer and thanksgiving are to go hand in hand.
Today, let us give thanks and offer prayers for our great nation. Our problems are many but so are our blessings. Turn to God and acknowledge Him. I am reminded of Proverbs 3:5-6 as we celebrate this day of prayer together. “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Let us thank God for our many blessings as a nation and then turn to Him with petitions and prayers asking forgiveness for our sins and looking to Him to lead our way.