On May 1st millions of Christians from all walks of life, and from across the country, will unite their voices in prayer as part of the 57th annual National Day of Prayer. Why should believers take a day to focus on prayer? Why pray for our families, our friends, and the needs and challenges facing America?
Simply put, God invites us to do so and promises a blessing when we do. In the book of 2 Chronicles, God says, “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 will forgive their sin and heal their land” (7:14).
God’s looking for four things from us, starting with humility. Boy, that’s a tough one. We can be so proud of our accomplishments, our inventions, our lifestyles – you name it. I’m afraid humility isn’t one of our strengths as a nation.
The second thing God desires is to talk with us, to engage in the dialogue of prayer. About the only prayer I knew growing up was one of those stock prayers recited over meals. Now that I’m older, I know what God longs for is an ongoing conversation with us. He cares about the details of our lives. He invites us to bring to Him our fears, pain, sadness, confession, joy, hopes, dreams – you name it, He’s waiting for us to talk with Him about it.
Third, He wants us to seek His face. I’ve read that the word “seek” carries with it the sense of pursing God with a “burning desire.” With passion. With gusto. At some points in life that is not as easy, is it? Ever wonder why not? Maybe a good place to start is to ask Him that question: Why am I not passionate about seeking Your face at this time in my life?
Finally, God wants us to experience the freedom and joy that comes through confession and turning from our sin. It’s one thing to say, “I’m sorry God for my sinful choices” and another thing to do something about it, namely, turning from our sin and embracing what’s right.
With the National Day of Prayer just around the corner, I wanted you to know it’s easier than ever to locate prayer breakfasts, luncheons, picnics, teen pizza parties, youth concerts, Bible reading marathons, or other fellowship activities in all fifty states. Just click here for an interactive map to search by your state, county, or zip code for the prayer opportunity nearest you.
Whether you’re young or old, there are specific prayer-centered activities you can participate in. If you can’t find an event close by, you can still participate by tuning into the National Day of Prayer event broadcast live from our nation’s capital via the web and DIRECTV channel 365. You’ll be inspired with praise and worship music and comments from Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, Chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer, Dr. Ravi Zacharias, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice among others.