First of all, then, I urge that requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving be made on behalf of all people, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. — I Timothy 2:1-4 (NASB)
Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper. — Jeremiah 29:7 (NIV)
The first National Day of Prayer and Fasting in America occurred on July 20, 1775. Those who know their history will realize that event did not happen in the USA, because the USA had not even been formed yet, since July 1775 was twelve months before we declared our independence. Members of the Continental Congress attended “Divine Service” and ordered that a copy of their declaration for the day of prayer be carried in newspapers. (Keep this in mind when people try to peddle their fallacious “Separation of Church and State” interpretation to you.)
One such National Day of Prayer and Fasting was held each year during the American Revolutionary War, and at critical times in our nation’s history ever since. (source) In 1952, in the chilling days of the Cold War when nuclear war with the USSR seemed always imminent, President Truman declared such a Day of Prayer should be an annual event.
This year the National Day of Prayer will be this Thursday, May 6. Are you realizing that our country does not only have political problems, economic problems, and social problems, but also spiritual problems? In fact, are you seeing that our spiritual problems are actually the root issue, and the other problems are just surface symptoms that spring from it?
American author and thinker Henry David Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
This is an aspect of prayer. Spiritual problems can only be solved with spiritual solutions, and in prayer, we implore God to do what we ourselves cannot do.
A few days ago Roanoke had the horrific news that a 15-year-old gunned down another teenager in cold blood. Are we heartbroken? Do we grieve? Are we going to do anything about it?
I was delighted to get this video forwarded from church today, with two local pastors telling about how we can participate in National Day of Prayer right here in the beautiful Roanoke Valley of Virginia. (It was a double blessing to realize the pastor on the right, Scott Hamilton, was a classmate of mine at Northside Middle and High School. Go Vikings!)
With all the talk about how we can achieve racial reconciliation in our divided land today, I believe these pastors’ video gives us the key…. (Watch it here.)
Pastor Scott explains that he recently read how Houston, Texas has had volunteers praying 24/7 for the city for several years now, and God gave him a similar vision for Roanoke.
Now, take the next step and move from passive spectator to active participant, and sign up to either pray on your own for a time slot on May 6, or else join the in-person prayer and praise event at the Hill Church at–appropriately–434 Church Avenue, in Roanoke, VA. Sign up here.
If you are not in the Roanoke Valley, you can find out how to plug into events elsewhere from this page.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin condemns any people. — Proverbs 14:34 (NIV)
– Scott Dreyer