National Day of Prayer Task Force http://nationaldayofprayer.org Transforming our Nation Through Prayer Wed, 29 Jul 2015 23:21:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.6 Answered Prayers http://nationaldayofprayer.org/answered-prayers/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/answered-prayers/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 21:37:51 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305622 Answered PrayersAmerica’s faith leaders are endorsing Answered Prayers!

Dr. Jack Graham, 2015 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, and many other faith leaders from across America are praising the inspirational new TLC series Answered Prayers presented by Roma Downey.

Don’t miss the stories of hope and inspiration at 10/9c on TLC to experience the raw faith, hope and perseverance that can only come from the power of prayer!

Join the Facebook Answered Prayers community for updates on the new TLC series airing Sundays 10/9c. Together we can start a movement!

Follow along with the series while strengthening your own relationship with Christ by downloading the official prayer guide.

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Million Window Campaign http://nationaldayofprayer.org/million-window-campaign/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/million-window-campaign/#comments Wed, 29 Jul 2015 20:24:27 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305617 “In God We Trust” is more than just our national motto – it’s our country’s foundation and part of our identity as Americans. Since the U.S. Congress passed Resolution 13* with an overwhelming 396/9 vote in November, 2011, reaffirming our national motto and encouraging its public display, elected leaders and citizens have taken action to display “In God We Trust” in government buildings, courtrooms, schools and businesses.

cling1

You can join thousands and thousands of other Americans who are affirming their trust in God – and the freedom to proclaim it – by displaying this removable 4”x5” window cling decal in your home, office or vehicle.

Will you join us? Order your window cling today. Proceeds will support the Congressional Caucus Foundation and our Troops. Click here to learn more >>

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Prayer Bus Rally Tour 2015 http://pray4america.nationbuilder.com/ http://pray4america.nationbuilder.com/#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2015 20:30:02 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305597 The Prayer Bus Rally Tour 2015 will travel 5,915 miles through 24 states to 43 campuses. Join us on location to pray.

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Pray for Life http://nationaldayofprayer.org/pray-for-life/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/pray-for-life/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:02:08 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305582 natldayofprayer_forlifeWill you pray for life this summer?

Join thousands of fellow believers and pray for the unborn, those who work in the abortion industry, and mothers and fathers considering abortion.

“Scripture clearly calls us to protect and defend the innocent, and that most certainly includes the unborn,”  said Brian Fisher, Founder and President of Online for Life. “While we should come together to pray for God’s blessing on our country, we cannot expect God to bring revival when we allow an estimated 1.2 million babies to be aborted within our shores every year. Abortion is primarily a spiritual issue, and it is, bar none, the predominant challenge for the American Christian today.”  (LifeSiteNews.com)

In an effort to bring this national tragedy into greater focus, Online for Life has created an online prayer community dedicated specifically to praying to end abortion in America.

According to Online for Life’s WePrayForLife.com website, prayer is focused on the following topics:

1) A time of prayer for organizations such as Online for Life, which seeks to reach abortion-determined women through messages of hope. Participants will also lift up the staff at the nearly 50 participating life-affirming pregnancy centers in 23 states, who love and care for the abortion-determined people that OFL sends their way.

2) Intercessors will be challenged to pray for those who have already made the decision to have an abortion at some point in their life. These women often experience physical, emotional and spiritual trauma and need prayer, forgiveness, support and a warm embrace from Christ-followers to heal.

3) Prayers will be said for the doctors, nurses and staff who work in abortion clinics. Participants will pray specifically that God softens their hearts and removes the scales from their eyes so they may be set free from the bondage of the abortion industry.

4) Prayer participants will be challenged to intercede on behalf of activists who participate in life marches across the country, and for those who consistently pray outside of abortion clinics. They will ask God to encourage and strengthen them so they may continue to boldly live out their mission.

5) Likewise, participants will spend time praying for those who work to end abortion through the legislative process. As pro-life activists have witnessed in recent years, many state legislatures and assemblies have taken up pivotal bills to protect the right to life in their states. The participants will pray this trend continues and these brave lawmakers will continue to find favor among men and with God.

6) Finally, Participants will lift up those in ministry positions who have served sacrificially in order to speak out for the unborn. They will pray that in the coming year, God will raise up more laborers to proclaim the truth about life during church services and stand as vanguards for Scriptural truth regarding abortion.

Much like the body of Christ, the pro-life movement is made up of many parts. But through this collective effort, we’ll bring all the parts together — united in prayer — to advance the cause of life.

To join this online prayer movement, please visit the WePrayForLife.com website, where you can register to participate.

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The History of Prayer in America http://nationaldayofprayer.org/the-history-of-prayer-in-america/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/the-history-of-prayer-in-america/#comments Tue, 14 Jul 2015 21:27:09 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305570 Continental_Congress_prayerDays of Prayer have a long history in America. Colonists declared Days of Prayer during droughts, Indian attacks and threats from other nations. Edward Winslow’s record of the Pilgrims’ experiences, reprinted in Alexander Young’s Chronicles of the Pilgrims (Boston, 1841), stated: “Drought and the like considerations moved not only every good man privately to enter into examination with his own estate between God and his conscience, and so to humiliation before Him, but also to humble ourselves together before the Lord by Fasting and Prayer.”

In colonial Connecticut, settlers proclaimed by legal authority a day in early spring for Fasting and Prayer. The governor customarily selected Good Friday as the annual spring fast. In 1668, the Virginia House of Burgesses in Jamestown passed an ordinance stating: “The 27th of August appointed for a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, to implore God’s mercy”

A notable Day of Prayer was in 1746, when French Admiral d’Anville sailed for New England, commanding the most powerful fleet of the time – 70 ships with 13,000 troops. He intended to recapture Louisburg, Nova Scotia, and destroy from Boston to New York, all the way to Georgia. Massachusetts Governor William Shirley declared a Day of Prayer and Fasting, October 16, 1746, to pray for deliverance.

In Boston’s Old South Meeting House, Rev. Thomas Prince prayed “Send Thy tempest, Lord, upon the water…scatter the ships of our tormentors!” Historian Catherine Drinker Bowen related that as he finished praying, the sky darkened, winds shrieked and church bells rang “a wild, uneven sound…though no man was in the steeple.”

A hurricane subsequently sank and scattered the entire French fleet. With 4,000 sick and 2,000 dead, including Admiral d’Anville, French Vice-Admiral d’Estournelle threw himself on his sword. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote in his Ballad of the French Fleet:
“Admiral d’Anville had sworn by cross and crown, to ravage with fire and steel our helpless Boston Town…From mouth to mouth spread tidings of dismay, I stood in the Old South saying humbly: ‘Let us pray!’…Like a potter’s vessel broke, the great ships of the line, were carried away as smoke or sank in the brine.”

As raids from France and Spain increased, Ben Franklin proposed a General Fast, which was approved by Pennsylvania’s President and Council, and published in the Pennsylvania Gazette, December 12, 1747:
“We have…thought fit…to appoint…a Day of Fasting & Prayer, exhorting all, both Ministers & People…to join with one accord in the most humble & fervent supplications that Almighty God would mercifully interpose and still the rage of war among the nations & put a stop to the effusion of Christian blood.”

On May 24, 1774, Thomas Jefferson drafted a Resolution for a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer to be observed as the British blockaded Boston’s Harbor. Robert Carter Nicholas, Treasurer, introduced the Resolution in the Virginia House of Burgesses, and, with support of Patrick Henry, Richard Henry Lee and George Mason, it passed unanimously: “This House, being deeply impressed with apprehension of the great dangers, to be derived to British America, from the hostile invasion of the City of Boston, in our sister Colony of Massachusetts… deem it highly necessary that the said first day of June be set apart, by the members of this House as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, devoutly to implore the Divine interposition, for averting the heavy calamity which threatens destruction to our civil rights…Ordered, therefore that the Members of this House do attend…with the Speaker, and the Mace, to the Church in this City, for the purposes aforesaid; and that the Reverend Mr. Price be appointed to read prayers, and the Reverend Mr. Gwatkin, to preach a sermon.”

George Washington wrote in his diary, June 1, 1774: “Went to church, fasted all day.”

Virginia’s Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, interpreted this Resolution as a veiled protest against King George III, and dissolved the House of Burgesses, resulting in legislators meeting in Raleigh Tavern where they conspired to form the first Continental Congress.

On April 15, 1775, just four days before the Battle of Lexington, the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, led by John Hancock, declared: “In circumstances dark as these, it becomes us, as men and Christians, to reflect that, whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments…the 11th of May next be set apart as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer…to confess the sins…to implore the Forgiveness of all our Transgression.”

On April 19, 1775, in a Proclamation of a Day of Fasting and Prayer, Connecticut Governor Jonathan Trumbull beseeched that: “God would graciously pour out His Holy Spirit on us to bring us to a thorough repentance and effectual reformation that our iniquities may not be our ruin; that He would restore, preserve and secure the liberties of this and all the other British American colonies, and make the land a mountain of Holiness, and habitation of righteousness forever.”

On June 12, 1775, less than two months after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, where was fired “the shot heard ‘round the world,” the Continental Congress, under President John Hancock, declared: “Congress…considering the present critical, alarming and calamitous state…do earnestly recommend, that Thursday, the 12th of July next, be observed by the inhabitants of all the English Colonies on this Continent, as a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, that we may with united hearts and voices, unfeignedly confess and deplore our many sins and offer up our joint supplications to the All-wise, Omnipotent and merciful Disposer of all Events, humbly beseeching Him to forgive our iniquities…It is recommended to Christians of all denominations to assemble for public worship and to abstain from servile labor and recreations of said day.”

On July 5, 1775, the Georgia Provincial Congress passed: “A motion…that this Congress apply to his Excellency the Governor…requesting him to appoint a Day of Fasting and Prayer throughout this Province, on account of the disputes subsisting between America and the Parent State.”

On July 7, 1775, Georgia’s Provincial Governor replied: “Gentlemen: I have taken the…request made by…a Provincial Congress, and must premise, that I cannot consider that meeting as constitutional; but as the request is expressed in such loyal and dutiful terms, and the ends proposed being such as every good man must most ardently wish for, I will certainly appoint a Day of Fasting and Prayer to be observed throughout this Province. Jas. Wright.”

On July 12, 1775, in a letter to his wife explaining the Continental Congress’ decision to declare a Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer, John Adams wrote: “We have appointed a Continental fast. Millions will be upon their knees at once before their great Creator, imploring His forgiveness and blessing; His smiles on American Council and arms.”

On July 19, 1775, the Continental Congress’ Journals recorded: “Agreed, The Congress meet here to morrow morning, at half after 9 o’clock, in order to attend divine service at Mr. Duche’s’ Church; and that in the afternoon they meet here to go from this place and attend divine service at Doctor Allison’s church.” In his Cambridge headquarters, Washington ordered, March 6, 1776: “Thursday, the 7th…being set apart…as a Day of Fasting, Prayer and Humiliation, ‘to implore the Lord and Giver of all victory to pardon our manifold sins and wickedness, and that it would please Him to bless the Continental army with His divine favor and protection,’ all officers and soldiers are strictly enjoined to pay all due reverence and attention on that day to the sacred duties to the Lord of hosts for His mercies already received, and for those blessings which our holiness and uprightness of life can alone encourage us to hope through His mercy obtain.”

On March 16, 1776, the Continental Congress passed without dissent a resolution presented by General William Livingston declaring: “Congress….desirous…to have people of all ranks and degrees duly impressed with a solemn sense of God’s superintending providence, and of their duty, devoutly to rely…on his aid and direction…do earnestly recommend Friday, the 17th day of May be observed by the colonies as a Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; that we may, with united hearts, confess and bewail our manifold sins and transgressions, and, by sincere repentance and amendment of life, appease God’s righteous displeasure, and, through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, obtain this pardon and forgiveness.”

On May 15, 1776, General George Washington ordered: “The Continental Congress having ordered Friday the 17th instant to be observed as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God, that it would please Him to pardon all our manifold sins and transgressions, and to prosper the arms of the United Colonies, and finally establish the peace and freedom of America upon a solid and lasting foundation; the General commands all officers and soldiers to pay strict obedience to the orders of the Continental Congress; that, by their unfeigned and pious observance of their religious duties, they may incline the Lord and Giver of victory to prosper our arms.”

On April 12, 1778, at Valley Forge, General Washington ordered: “The Honorable Congress having thought proper to recommend to the United States of America to set apart Wednesday, the 22nd inst., to be observed as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, that at one time, and with one voice, the righteous dispensations of Providence may be acknowledged, and His goodness and mercy towards our arms supplicated and implored: The General directs that the day shall be most religiously observed in the Army; that no work shall be done thereon, and that the several chaplains do prepare discourses.”

On November 11, 1779, Virginia Governor Thomas Jefferson signed a Proclamation of Prayer, which stated: “Congress…hath thought proper…to recommend to the several States…a day of publick and solemn Thanksgiving to Almighty God, for his mercies, and of Prayer, for the continuance of his favour…That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory; that He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel; that He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth…”

On April 6, 1780, at Morristown, General Washington ordered: “Congress having been pleased by their Proclamation of the 11th of last month to appoint Wednesday the 22nd instant to be set apart and observed as a day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer…there should be no labor or recreations on that day.”

On October 11, 1782, the Congress of the Confederation passed: “It being the indispensable duty of all nations…to offer up their supplications to Almighty God…the United States in Congress assembled…do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe…the last Thursday, in the 28th day of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”

On November 8, 1783, at the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, Massachusetts Governor John Hancock issued: “The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and Gratitude to the God of their salvation…I do…appoint…the 11th day of December next (the day recommended by the Congress to all the States) to be religiously observed as a Day of Thanksgiving and Prayer, that all the people may then assemble to celebrate…that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel…That we also offer up fervent supplications…to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish…and to fill the world with his glory.

On February 21, 1786, New Hampshire Governor John Langdon proclaimed: a Day of Public Fasting and Prayer: “It having been the laudable practice of this State, at the opening of the Spring, to set apart a day…to…penitently confess their manifold sins and transgressions, and fervently implore the divine benediction, that a true spirit of repentance and humiliation may be poured out upon all…that he would be pleased to bless the great Council of the United States of America and direct their deliberations…that he would rain down righteousness upon the earth, revive religion, and spread abroad the knowledge of the true God, the Saviour of man, throughout the world. And all servile labor and recreations are forbidden on said day.”

At the Constitutional Convention, 1787, Ben Franklin stated: “In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayer in this room for Divine protection.”

Proclaiming a Day of Prayer, Ronald Reagan said January 27, 1983: “In 1775, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Prayer…In 1783, the Treaty of Paris officially ended the long, weary Revolutionary War during which a National Day of Prayer had been proclaimed every spring for eight years.”

On October 31, 1785, James Madison introduced a bill in the Virginia Legislature titled, “For Appointing Days of Public Fasting and Thanksgiving,” which included: “Forfeiting fifty pounds for every failure, not having a reasonable excuse.” Yale College had as its requirement, 1787: “All the scholars are obliged to attend Divine worship in the College Chapel on the Lord’s Day and on Days of Fasting and Thanksgiving appointed by public authority.”

The same week Congress passed the Bill of Rights, President George Washington declared, October 3, 1789: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey His will…and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness’…

“I do recommend…the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the People of these United States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks…for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… Humbly offering our prayers…to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions.”

After the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania, President Washington proclaimed a Day of Prayer, January 1, 1796: “All persons within the United States, to…render sincere and hearty thanks to the great Ruler of nations…particularly for the possession of constitutions of government…and fervently beseech the kind Author of these blessings…to establish habits of sobriety, order, and morality and piety.”

During a threatened war with France, President John Adams declared a Day of Fasting, March 23, 1798, then again on March 6, 1799: “As…the people of the United States are still held in jeopardy by…insidious acts of a foreign nation, as well as by the dissemination among them of those principles subversive to the foundations of all religious, moral, and social obligations…I hereby recommend…a Day of Solemn Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer; That the citizens…call to mind our numerous offenses against the Most High God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore His pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to His righteous requisitions… ‘Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.’”

James Madison, known as the “Chief Architect of the Constitution,” wrote many of the Federalist Papers, convincing the States to ratify the Constitution, and introduced the First Amendment in the first session of Congress. During the War of 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a Day of Prayer, July 9, 1812, stating:

“I do therefore recommend…rendering the Sovereign of the Universe…public homage…acknowledging the transgressions which might justly provoke His divine displeasure…seeking His merciful forgiveness…and with a reverence for the unerring precept of our holy religion, to do to others as they would require that others should do to them.”

On July 23, 1813, Madison issued another Day of Prayer, referring to: “religion, that gift of Heaven for the good of man.” When the British marched on Washington, D.C., citizens evacuated, along with President and Dolly Madison. The British burned the White House, Capitol and public buildings on August 25, 1814. Suddenly dark clouds rolled in and a tornado touched down sending debris flying, blowing off roofs and knocking down chimneys on British troops. Two cannons were lifted off the ground and dropped yards away. A British historian wrote: “More British soldiers were killed by this stroke of nature than from all the firearms the American troops had mustered.” British forces then fled and rains extinguished the fires.

James Madison responded by proclaiming, November 16, 1814: “In the present time of public calamity and war a day may be…observed by the people of the United States as a Day of Public Humiliation and Fasting and of Prayer to Almighty God for the safety and welfare of these States…of confessing their sins and transgressions, and of strengthening their vows of repentance…that He would be graciously pleased to pardon all their offenses.”

In 1832, as an Asiatic Cholera outbreak gripped New York, Henry Clay asked for a Joint Resolution of Congress to request the President set: “A Day of Public Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting to be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity.”

On April 13, 1841, when 9th President William Harrison died, President John Tyler issued a Day of Prayer and Fasting: “When a Christian people feel themselves to be overtaken by a great public calamity, it becomes them to humble themselves under the dispensation of Divine Providence.”

On July 3, 1849, during a cholera epidemic, President Zachary Taylor proclaimed: “The providence of God has manifested itself in the visitation of a fearful pestilence which is spreading itself throughout the land, it is fitting that a people whose reliance has ever been in His protection should humble themselves before His throne…acknowledging past transgressions, ask a continuance of the Divine mercy. It is earnestly recommended that the first Friday in August be observed throughout the United States as a Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer.”

On December 14, 1860, President James Buchanan issued a Proclamation of a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer: “In this the hour of our calamity and peril to whom shall we resort for relief but to the God of our fathers? His omnipotent arm only can save us from the awful effects of our own crimes and follies…Let us…unite in humbling ourselves before the Most High, in confessing our individual and national sins…Let me invoke every individual, in whatever sphere of life he may be placed, to feel a personal responsibility to God and his country for keeping this day holy.”

On August 12, 1861, after the Union lost the Battle of Bull Run, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed: “It is fit…to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to His chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln…do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a Day of Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting for all the people of the nation.”

On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer: “The awful calamity of civil war…may be but a punishment inflicted upon us for our presumptuous sins to the needful end of our national reformation as a whole people…We have forgotten God…We have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become…too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins.”

After Lincoln was shot, President Johnson issued, April 29, 1865: “The 25th day of next month was recommended as a Day for Special Humiliation and Prayer in consequence of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln…but Whereas my attention has since been called to the fact that the day aforesaid is sacred to large numbers of Christians as one of rejoicing for the ascension of the Savior: Now…I, Andrew Johnson, President of the United States, do suggest that the religious services recommended as aforesaid should be postponed until…the 1st day of June.”

During World War I, President Wilson proclaimed May 11, 1918: “‘It being the duty peculiarly incumbent in a time of war humbly and devoutly to acknowledge our dependence on Almighty God and to implore His aid and protection…I, Woodrow Wilson…proclaim…a Day of Public Humiliation, Prayer and Fasting, and do exhort my fellow-citizens…to pray Almighty God that He may forgive our sins.”

During World War II, Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed during the D-Day invasion of Normandy, June 6, 1944: “Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our Religion and our Civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity…Help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.”

When WWII ended, President Truman declared in a Day of Prayer, August 16, 1945: “The warlords of Japan…have surrendered unconditionally… This is the end of the…schemes of dictators to enslave the peoples of the world…Our global victory…has come with the help of God…Let us…dedicate ourselves to follow in His ways.”

In 1952, President Truman made the National Day of Prayer an annual observance, stating: “In times of national crisis when we are striving to strengthen the foundations of peace…we stand in special need of Divine support.”

In April of 1970, President Richard Nixon had the nation observe a Day of Prayer for Apollo 13 astronauts. On May 5, 1988, President Reagan made the National Day of Prayer the first Thursday in May, saying: “Americans in every generation have turned to their Maker in prayer…We have acknowledged…our dependence on Almighty God.”

President George W. Bush declared Days of Prayer after the Islamic terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and after Hurricane Katrina.

As America faces challenges in the economy, from terrorism and natural disasters, one can gain inspiring faith from leaders of the past.

– William J. Federer

Click here to download the free e-book Prayers and Presidents – Inspiring Faith from Leaders of the Past by William J. Federer now >>

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Independence Day a Religious Holiday? http://nationaldayofprayer.org/independence-day-a-religious-holiday/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/independence-day-a-religious-holiday/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 23:51:41 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305553 On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain. Two days afterwards – July 4th – the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed, albeit by only two individuals at that time: John Hancock, President of Congress, and Charles Thompson, Secretary of Congress. Four days later, on July 8, members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell was rung. The inscription around the top of that bell, Leviticus 25:10, was most appropriate for the occasion: “Proclaim liberty throughout the land and to all the inhabitants thereof.”

To see the turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, and yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, we may ask how has this been achieved? What was the basis of American Independence? John Adams said “The general principles on which the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Perhaps the clearest identification of the spirit of the American Revolution was given by John Adams in a letter to Abigail the day after Congress approved the Declaration. He wrote her two letters on that day; the first was short and concise, jubilant that the Declaration had been approved. The second was much longer and more pensive, giving serious consideration to what had been done that day. Adams cautiously noted: “This day will be the most memorable epic in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival.”

It is amazing that on the very day they approved the Declaration, Adams was already foreseeing that their actions would be celebrated by future generations. Adams contemplated whether it would be proper to hold such celebrations, but then concluded that the day should be commemorated – but in a particular manner and with a specific spirit. As he told Abigail: “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”

John Adams believed that the Fourth of July should become a religious holiday
– a day when we remembered God’s hand in deliverance and a day of religious activities when we committed ourselves to Him in “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” Such was the spirit of the American Revolution as seen through the eyes of those who led it, evidenced even further in the words of John Quincy Adams, one who was deeply involved in the activities of the Revolution.

According to John Quincy Adams, Christmas and the Fourth of July were intrinsically connected. On the Fourth of July, the Founders simply took the precepts of Christ, who came into the world through His birth (Christmas) and incorporated those principles into civil government.

Have you ever considered what it meant for those 56 men – an eclectic group of ministers, businessmen, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, farmers – to sign the Declaration of Independence? This was a contract that began with the reasons for the separation from Great Britain and closed in the final paragraph stating “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” These men took this pledge seriously and it cost them greatly. When Samuel Adams signed the Declaration, he said, “We have this day restored the Sovereign to whom all men ought to be obedient. He reigns in heaven and from the rising to the setting of the sun, let His kingdom come.”

The spiritual emphasis manifested so often by the Americans during the Revolution caused one Crown-appointed British governor to write to Great Britain complaining that: “If you ask an American who is his master, he’ll tell you he has none. And he has no governor but Jesus Christ.” This was boldly declared with not one but sixteen Congressional proclamations for national days of prayer and fasting throughout the Revolution.

Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out.

– David Barton, Wallbuilders

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Truth and Love http://nationaldayofprayer.org/truth-and-love/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/truth-and-love/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 22:35:28 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305549 Recently, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision on the Obergefell v. Hodges case, there have been a series of verbal assaults to and from Christians that we must address. Some of those exchanges may have been instigated but overall, we must be careful not to label one another nor give in to slander or insults.

The Savior of mankind, Jesus Christ, says that those who follow Him are called to be salt and light in the world (Mat. 5:13-16). That means they are to love without being loved in return, to give as much as they can without concern for their own well-being, to serve with compassion and generosity, to pay their taxes, to be merciful and to be faithful to one another with dignity, integrity, and honor. They are to take on the very nature and characteristics of the spirit of God, which include love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). These are only a few of the instructions from the only perfect man who ever walked the face of the earth. The Bible says we are to be imitators of Him and thus we strive each and every day to walk as He would walk and to live as He would live.

However, given that we are imperfect, we will make mistakes as we try to communicate with conviction and with kindness, with truth and with grace. In fact, there will be those who say they are Christians but act in a manner that is not suitable for one who claims to follow Christ. But truth be told, we are a family and families have family members who say things they shouldn’t and may not be as mature as others. So we work with them, forgive them and ask that you would do the same.

Another issue that concerns me greatly is the label on Christians that they “hate gay people”. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We are not allowed to hate nor judge anyone (Mat. 7:1-5, I Thes. 4:11, Phil 4:4-9, John 8:1-11) if we claim to follow the Messiah. In Matthew 22:37-39, we are instructed by Jesus to do two things: 1) “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “ If we love the Lord then we are to keep His commandments (John 14:23). He then tells us to “Love your neighbor as yourself” adding “the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” So what does that mean? Well, it is clear. If we love God, we follow His instructions. He says that we should avoid all temptation of the flesh including sexual sin because we are His temples on the earth (I Cor. 6:15-20). He then tells us that if any of us are tempted, then it would be better to remove a body part that tempts us than to give in to that temptation of the flesh (Mat. 5:27-30). He also says that we are all ONE in Christ Jesus (those who follow Him) and that there are no labels and no categories of people (Gal. 3:28). That means we are all equals – humans made in His image (Gen. 1:27) – not gay or straight, black or white, male or female. We are all people and the same rules apply to us all. If we are tempted by sin, we are to flee from it. Paul says it would be better to be like him and to just focus on God (1 Cor. 7).

The bottom line is that we all come from the same two parents, Adam and Eve. We are all brothers and sisters in the flesh and we all need a holy reverence for God Almighty. In first Timothy 1, Paul reminds us that all sin breaks God’s heart (see Romans 1 as well), but then he adds this saying “I am a chief of sinners”. Meaning the more he draws near to God through Christ Jesus, the more he realizes how broken he is – desiring God all the more. Thus the realization of the plank in his own eye (Mat. 7:5) enables him to speak with understanding and intentionality as he seeks to spread the gospel message (1 Cor. 9:20). So, the more we put our eyes on Christ the more the lusts of the flesh subside. Christ is the only answer and He desires that all of us be saved (1 Tim. 2:3-4, 2 Peter 3:9).

All Scripture is God-breathed and given not by man’s interpretation (2 Tim. 3:16, 2 Pet. 1:20). That means the Bible is the absolute truth and anything that my flesh desires is contrary to God’s will (Gal 5:17). So, we must cloak ourselves in humility understanding that salvation through Jesus is the only solution for us all.

In our continuing struggle against public policy and agendas that elevate sin in the culture, we must also remember that there are real people who are hurting and wounded by others and even by their own choices. These individuals may look to the church but with their walls up as they fearfully anticipate judgment and condemnation. If we have not love, we have nothing (1 Cor. 13:2). So, let’s get back to work reaching out to the world with a message of hope – that God first loved us and sent His Son to redeem a lost world (1 John 4:10-20).

– John Bornschein, Vice Chairman

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Cultivating Desperation http://nationaldayofprayer.org/cultivating-desperation/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/cultivating-desperation/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:13:47 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305539 In our current culture, we are constantly bombarded by messages of tolerance for every viewpoint and behavior, no matter what it is. As we are confronted with the demands of tolerance, a cycle begins. We initially cry out to God in desperation; then, as we experience a series of defeats, weariness may set in, and finally, resignation. While we are tempted to give up the prayer battle, we must look to our Lord for help, examining our hearts to stay focused on God’s viewpoint as reflected in Scripture. Note this warning:

“Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Things that make people fall into sin are bound to happen, but how terrible for the one who makes them happen! It would be better for him if a large millstone were tied around his neck and he were thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch what you do!’” (Luke 17:1-3 GNT)

When it comes to prayer and intercession, this is a critical passage. It is God who defines what sin is. On moral issues, His Word presents the correct viewpoint. Just because something is popular doesn’t make it right, and just because the courts rule in a particular way, doesn’t mean the judges’ decisions are right. As we struggle with the cycles that tolerance creates, we must remember to persist in our intercessory calling. Prayer is always the correct first response.

A primary characteristic of an intercessor’s heart is desperation. God responds to our desperation with His mercy. Increasing demands for tolerance may chip away and neutralize desperation. If we begin to tolerate ungodly things, we will not retain this desperate stance. Intercessory endurance is vital as we continually examine our hearts to ensure our desperation and sense of what is right are not diluted and thereby neutralized.
How, then, are we to do this? As with all spiritual battles, we overcome by faith and perseverance.
The apostles said to the Lord, “Make our faith greater” (Luke 17: 5 GNT).

Our Lord’s words were just as challenging to His early disciples as they are to us some 2,000 years later. In essence, they were saying, “HELP!” and so must we. They understood their ability be “salt” in the lives of others was limited in their own efforts; they needed greater faith.

This simple prayer, “Make our faith greater,” is one we will need to pray in days ahead, perhaps more than any time in our lives. We will need greater faith to examine our hearts, greater ability to know God’s heart, and greater power to pray and believe our God can still work miracles.

Faith grows as we ask and believe God. Faith changes the thoughts in our head, the attitudes of our hearts, and the actions of our hands. God has called us to join Him in shaping history through prayer and fasting, and we live in a day that we must pray for a greater measure of faith to do this.

Intercessors, as we watch the seemingly limitless parade of evil before our eyes, let us evaluate all we see through God’s eyes, guarding our hearts and praying for greater faith. Lord, make our faith greater.

– Dave Kubal, President of Intercessors for America

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Repent America http://nationaldayofprayer.org/repent-america/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/repent-america/#comments Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:41:50 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305533 “Ah, sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, offspring of evildoers, children who deal corruptly! They have forsaken the Lord, they have despised the Holy One…they are utterly estranged. Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom! Give ear to the teaching of our God you people of Gomorrah! When you come to appear before me, who has required of you this trampling of my courts? When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove evil of your deeds from before my eyes; cease to do evil,…If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.” (Isaiah 1: 4,10,12,15-17a, 19)

The Bible tells us that calling evil good and good evil will bring disaster on those who do it (Isa. 5:20, Rom. 1:18-32) and we see that reversal in abundance today. But God’s people have been in this place before and we must humble ourselves and pray and intercede for this generation as they know not what they do.

Come now – let us gather before the Lord and pray and seek His face and repent (II Chronicles 7:14).

Here are some ways to pray right now:

1.Thank the Lord for the gift of family. Express your gratitude that family is God’s by design and not human invention.

2. Ask for forgiveness on behalf of the Church for failing to model godly families before our society. We bear much blame for the deterioration of marriage and the family. (1 Timothy 5:8)

3. Pray for help to live out God’s intent for the family. May our homes become outposts for God’s kingdom. (Acts 10:2)

4. Confess our sins of responding to those caught up in a homosexual lifestyle with anger or hatred. Ask for help to love as Christ loves. (John 8:11)

5. Pray that the Lord would show us in practical ways how to speak the truth in love according to His Word. (Ephesians 4:15)

6. Ask God to pour out His wisdom on His people that we might see clearly the attack of the enemy on His design for marriage. May God’s wisdom give us insight into the results of tearing down traditional one man-one woman marriage. (James 1:5)

A Sample Prayer:

Father, we are grateful to be able to call You that. To know that through Jesus, we have been brought into Your family. Thank You that our earthly families, as imperfect as they are, are a reflection of the eternal family for which You are our forever Father. Forgive us Lord, for not being better pictures of what the family is intended to be. Help us Lord to live out our lives in families with godliness, love, purity, and truth.

This broken world has affected all of us in so many damaging ways. We thank You for accepting us in our brokenness through Jesus, and for Your commitment to bringing us to spiritual and emotional health and wholeness. Forgive us as your people when we have gone on the offensive against those caught up in any sexual sin. Teach us how to live as You lived as You walked among us, Lord Jesus. We want to love as You loved and speak truth as You spoke truth.

From a place of humility before You, we plead with You Lord, to intervene to preserve our nation. Give us wisdom which only You can give. Pour out righteousness upon our land. We ask this, for your honor and glory, in the majestic name of Jesus. Amen!

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The Time Will Come by Dr. Doug Stringer http://nationaldayofprayer.org/the-time-will-come/ http://nationaldayofprayer.org/the-time-will-come/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:18:06 +0000 http://nationaldayofprayer.org/?p=305522 “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.” 2 Timothy 4:3-4 (NKJV)

We are living now in the time Paul speaks about above. That time has come. We continue to see the escalation and acceleration of human depravity and crisis. There seems to be an increasing disregard for the love of truth. In fact, the Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 that some would be given to an unrighteous deception because they did not receive the love of the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Paul also addresses this with Timothy after giving him a very strong charge and challenge to his ministry.

Paul was deeply concerned that even amongst those who professed to know the truth, many no longer had a love for the truth. In 2 Timothy 4:5, he encourages us to make sure we are not disheartened or discouraged from keeping our focus:

“But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

Be watchful in all things
In other words, be morally alert, be sober, and have self control.

Endure afflictions
We must persevere through whatever challenges or hardships may come our way. We need to keep our vision of hope and our eyes on the destination of the Lord. Circumstances should not dictate who we are, because we know who we are in Christ.

Do the work of an evangelist
For the sacred to influence the secular, we must have the heart of our Savior for the souls of men. We may not all have the office of an evangelist or be called like a Billy Graham, but we are all called to do the work of an evangelist. We are all called to let the Lord’s light shine in our lives in such a way that it directs others to Him. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

I love this quote from the late Leonard Ravenhill: “Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry? Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die? Could a fireman sit idle and let men burn and give no hand? Could you sit at ease in Zion (as a Christian) with the world around you damned?” There is such need in the world around us today. Shall we sit back on the beach of ease and comfort, when so many are still shipwrecked in a sea of despair and destruction?

A.W. Tozer said, “The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.”

We need to wake up from our slumber, quit pushing our snooze buttons, and awaken to the call to be good messengers in a world of bad news.

Fulfill Your Ministry
The Amplified Bible says, “Fully perform all the duties of your ministry.” We are all called to steward the ministry God has entrusted to us. At Somebody Cares, one of our core missions is reconciliation across racial, ethnic, and denominational lines. We have been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, and now all of us have the ministry of reconciliation. This is so important during these times in which we live, to be ambassadors and bridge-builders in the natural as a beautiful picture of what God has done in the spiritual. 2 Corinthians 4:1-2 is a reminder not to lose heart lest we have a tendency to mishandle the Word of God through deceitfulness. We should rather manifest the truth to others.

We can only manifest the Truth if we ourselves have the love of the Truth. Too often we turn our ears away from the truth because we raise up our own “golden calf,” so to speak. We set up our personal preferences based on our own perceptions, thus disregarding the truth where our sacred cows are concerned. As I’ve said often, “Perception is not necessarily the truth, but it is the truth to the one who perceives it.” If we are not careful and discerning, we can filter our worldview through our personal preferences or experiences, rather than through the Word, character, nature, and Spirit of God; whereby, we create our own world and personal kingdoms based on our own perceptions. May our eyes be opened with discernment, and our hearts return
to Him.

The Apostle Paul begins his challenge to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:1 with this: “I CHARGE you…before God and the Lord Jesus Christ…” The inference is, “as if in the very Presence of God Himself.” Verse 2 says: Preach the word! Be instant in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.

Here we see some key exhortations:

Preach the Word:
The writer of the song Amazing Grace was John Newton (1792-1875). He was a former slave ship captain who had an encounter with the Lord and later became an Anglican clergyman. I love this quote of his that really does give us a picture of what our preaching of the Word should do. “My grand point in preaching is to break the hard heart, and to heal the broken one.” Powerful! I also love this quote from another popular English preacher, Rowland Hill (1744-1833):“I don’t like those mighty fine preachers who round off their sentences so beautifully that they are sure to roll off the sinner’s conscience.”

Or, how about this quote from the late A.W. Tozer from his teaching on “The Gift of Prophetic Insight,” which he wrote about religious leaders who lack understanding of present conditions:

“Religious leaders who continue to mechanically expound the scriptures without regard to the current religious situation are no better than the scribes and lawyers of Jesus’ day who faithfully parroted the law without the remotest notion of what was going on around them spiritually…

“The Prophets never made that mistake nor wasted their efforts in that manner. They invariably spoke to the condition of the people of their times. Today we need prophetic preachers; not preachers of prophecy merely, but preachers with a gift of prophecy… We need the gift of discernment again in our pulpits. It is not the ability to predict that we need, but the anointed eye, the power of spiritual penetration and interpretation, the ability to appraise the religious scene as viewed from God’s position, and to tell us what is actually going on.”

Today, we have some of the most gifted orators and well trained communicators and pontificators, but what we need are those who have also been in the Presence of the Lord, who can hear from Him and communicate His heart to a desperate world. We need to be those who love God and the people He has called us to serve more than we love ourselves.

As 1 Corinthians 9:16-18 says, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me: yes, woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.”

Be instant in season and out of season:
The Amplified Bible says it this way: “Keep your sense of urgency… be at hand and ready, whether the opportunity seems to be favorable or unfavorable, whether it is convenient or inconvenient, whether it be welcome or unwelcome.” In other words, to “be instant” means to be at hand, to stand by, i.e., to be prepared, ready, keeping your sense of urgency. Notice that to be instant in and out of season may not always be favorable, convenient, or welcomed!

Reprove:

The Greek word elenxon also means to convince or correct.

Rebuke:
This word also means “to censure.” Censure is an expression of strong disapproval or denouncement, an official reprimand. Wikipedia says, “Censure is a process by which a formal reprimand is issued to an individual by an authoritative body.” We have seen this at times over the years with leaders who have misused their office or position. Both “reprove” and “rebuke” infer to challenge, correct, and discipline. The Lord corrects to guide and instruct those He loves. Likewise, our love for others moves us with deep compassion to do the same.

Exhort:
The Greek word parakaleson can be translated either exhort or encourage, depending on the context in which it is used. It also means to bring edification and comfort.

Yes, the time has come for us to be lovers of truth and sound doctrine, and to be sensitive and discerning of the times. May we recognize the hour in which we are living and heed the call of the Lord as His Church. As in the days of Noah, we are seeing many disturbing and atrocious things, yet by divine warning Noah built an ark that served as a vehicle of salvation and preservation in the midst of judgment. Likewise, may we become a spiritual ark for others to find refuge, salvation, preservation, and deliverance.
Together, may we be able to say like the apostle Paul:
“I have fought the good fight… I have finished the race… I have kept (persevered) the faith!”

– Dr. Doug Stringer

Doug Stringer is the Founder and President of Somebody Cares America and Somebody Cares International, a global network of chapters, centers, affiliate and partner churches and organizations working together to bring hope and healing to their communities through Prayer initiatives, Compassion outreaches and Cooperative efforts.

Revised versions of this and other articles by Doug Stringer can be found in various printed and online magazines, as well as www.DougStringer.com.

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