PRAY FOR AMERICA 4-29-18
Pray for America
April 29th, 2018
Thursday, May 3rd, is the National Day of Prayer. As both Christians and Americans, I believe it is our duty to lift up our nation in prayer along with our fellow Christians throughout the country. The National Day of Prayer Task Force has declared that “The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of ‘humiliation, fasting, and prayer’ in 1863. 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. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.” (For more information on the National Day of Prayer Task Force, go to http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org)
You each now have a bookmark for the National Day of Prayer. On the backside are five calls to prayer for unity:
- Unity in America – citing Ephesians 4:3 – “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
- Unity in the church of America (which was the subject of my sermon on April 15) – citing 1 Corinthians 1:10 – “Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, that there be no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.”
- Unity in the families, workplaces, communities, and cities of America – citing 2 Chronicles 30:12 – “Also, the power of God was at work in Judah to unite them to carry out the command of the king and his officials by the word of the Lord.”
- Unity among ethnicities and people in America – citing Ephesians 2:14 – “For He is our peace, who made both groups one and tore down the dividing wall of hostility.”
- That we agree clearly, unite visibly, and pray extraordinarily for the next great spiritual awakening in America – citing Acts 1:14 – “They all were continually united in prayer.”
And at the bottom you will see the seven centers of influence to pray for:
- Government (which includes Federal, State, and Local)
- Military (for our leaders, for divine protection, and for courage and dependence on God)
- Media Arts (that they would reflect the truth, and contribute to our well-being and unity)
- Business (for leaders of integrity, creators of economic blessing, and givers of resources to the community)
- Education (that our schools would be truth-centered, excellence-driven, and afford opportunity to our students)
- Church (that the Gospel would be the central message, that they would make disciples of Christ, and be unified through the Holy Spirit)
- Family (for Christ-centeredness, for reconciliation where there is brokenness, and for a restoration to love and unity)
My personal suggestion to you is to pray especially for the five calls for unity on Thursday, and also to pray for one of the seven centers of influence each day of this week, beginning with our government today, and ending with family on Saturday. But regardless of how you decide to work these special prayers into your schedule, I know that God will honor the prayers of his people, if they are lifted up with sincere hearts.
During a 1952 taping of Hour of Decision, Billy Graham said this about the need for revival: "I'm absolutely convinced that no matter who's elected, America is not going to be saved unless we have a moral and spiritual revival ... no nation has ever improved morally without a revival." That was 70 years ago, and his words are just as relevant today. As the morals in our country decline, as patriotism is being eroded away by people who refuse to honor the flag, as churches are declining and many closing their doors, and as laws that once protected our Christian rights are now taking them away – we desperately need another great spiritual awakening in our country. Unless Christians come together, united in spirit, and pour out their hearts to God, our country will continue to decline, and God’s blessing ultimately be withdrawn.
It is not too late to turn America around. As in the parable of the persistent widow we heard as our third Scripture reading (Luke 18:1-8), God does not want us to give up. Change doesn’t always happen overnight. Keep praying. Not just on Thursday, not just throughout the week, but next week, and the week after, and the week after that. Keep praying until America wakes up spiritually, and once again honors God as its supreme authority and leader. Keep praying until the people of America turn to God, forsake the ways of the world, and dedicate their lives to Him. And keep praying for unity among Christians, that we would not fight among ourselves, but rather work together for God’s glory, reaching out to those in need, and to those who have not yet heard the good news of the Gospel. Yes, pray that God would truly heal our land (Read 2 Chronicles 7:14). Amen.
(A Prayer for America)
Thank you, God, for America
and the freedom we hold dear.
Thank you, God, for America
and for your blessings here -
for our home, and church, and school,
and for our family and friends.
We pray you would protect them,
for on you our country depends.