On this, the 60th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer, I’d like to share two stories with you that accentuate and highlight the necessity of daily conversation with God.
Both of them involve little children, who are always some of life’s best teachers.
As little Deborah sat down to eat dinner with her parents she instinctively reached for her fork. “Please hold on,” her father replied. “We haven’t said grace yet.” This exasperated the girl, who was tired and hungry. “Daddy,” she said with a sigh, “why can’t we just pray once a week? Why do we have to ask for our daily bread every day?”
Her older brother, wiser and eager to set her straight, weighed in before the dad could answer. “You don’t think we want stale bread, do you?” he said.
Inadvertently, that fellow was confirming the importance of regular prayer.
Then there is four-year-old Melinda. Her favorite story was “The Three Little Pigs” which she asked her mom or dad to read every single night before bed. They gladly obliged, but after several months, her father got a bright idea. He recorded the story on tape and told her to simply press “play” before jumping under the covers. She resisted.
“But, honey,” he told her, “you can still hear it.”
“Yes,” she replied, “but I can’t sit in its lap.”
Amazingly, the Creator of the Universe is eager to spend time with you and with me, but the only way we can experience conversation and communion with Him is through personal and corporate prayer.
All of us at Focus on the Family extend our heartfelt thanks to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, led once again by the inspiring Mrs. Shirley Dobson, wife of our founder, Dr. James Dobson. Under her direction and counsel, thousands of prayer events will be occurring all throughout the United States today. We’ll be gathering here at Focus and joined by Dr. Jim Garlow, pastor of Skyline Wesleyan Church in Southern California.
Today is a special celebration, but God’s bread is fresh every day and the Lord’s arms are open wide in welcome.
I’ll close with a prayer that was written by this year’s honorary chairperson, our dear friend, Joni Eareckson Tada:
Almighty God, you are our Mighty Fortress, our refuge and the God in whom we place our trust. As our nation faces great distress and uncertainty, we ask your Holy Spirit to fall afresh upon your people — convict us of sin and inflame within us a passion to pray for our land and its people. Grant the leaders of our country an awareness of their desperate need of wisdom and salvation in You until sin becomes a reproach to all and righteousness exalts this nation.
Protect and defend us against our enemies and may the cause of Christ always prevail in our schools, courts, homes, and churches. Lord God, send a spirit of revival and may it begin in our own hearts.
Remember America, we pray. Remember the foundations on which this country was built. Remember the prayers of our nation’s fathers and mothers, and do not forget us in our time of need.
In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.