The Privilege of Prayer

Today, our nation has set aside a time that we call the “National Day of Prayer.” Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed by President Truman, the purpose is to invite people to pray for our nation. This calling the citizenship to prayer is embedded in our national history.

Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.

Thomas Jefferson, 1808

The first call to prayer came in 1775 when the Continental Congress beseeched the colonies to ask the Lord for wisdom in forming this new nation. Lincoln called a day for prayer and fasting during the horrific struggles found in our own Civil War.

Today, prayer for our nation, for our world, has never been needed more. Living in a world that constantly marginalizes God and His commandments, we find ourselves living in times where evil men “wax worse and worse.” How can we pray for this nation today? It must be more than asking God to make us great or to sing “God Bless America.”

I recommend this website,, as a resource for praying effectively for this country. This site is maintained by a true patriot, but more importantly, a devoted follower of Christ. John, the creator of the blog, shares some needs that we desperately desire to have God intervene and provide grace.

John lists over 40 prayer requests that Christian Americans can use to intercede on this nation’s behalf. I’ll not list them all, but allow me to share just a few thoughts and encourage you to take this National Day of Prayer and ask the Lord to heal our land. How can we pray, specifically?

  1. Pray that God will heal our fractured nation.
  2. Pray that our elected leaders will lead according to God’s truth.
  3. Pray for another Great Awakening in our nation.
  4. Pray that America returns to its biblical foundation.
  5. Pray that America would be a friend to Israel.
  6. Pray for believers who are persecuted at home and abroad.
  7. Pray for repentance of our national sins, included the way we have treated the unborn.

This isn’t an all-inclusive list – but it’s a start. As believers, prayer is nothing more than communicating with God directly. It’s our privilege to enter His presence as His children. We don’t enter as guests, we enter as family. Let’s not take this privilege for granted. Would you take a few moments and pray for our world today?

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