"Prayer... America's Hope"

Thursday, May 7th, is the 58th Annual Observance of the National Day of Prayer.

The theme, “Prayer…America’s Hope”, is derived from Psalm 33:22:

May your unfailing love rest upon us,

O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”

John Page, writing to Thomas Jefferson, July 20, 1776, on the signing of The Declaration of Independence:

God preserve the United States. We know the Race is not to the Swift nor the Battle to the Strong. Do you not think an Angel rides in the Whirlwind and directs this Storm?

Benjamin Franklin, Speech to the Constitutional Convention, June 28, 1787:

“The small progress we have made after four or five weeks close attendance & continual reasonings with each other—our different sentiments on almost every question, several of the last producing as many noes as ays, is methinks a melancholy proof of the imperfection of the Human Understanding. We indeed seem to feel our own want of political wisdom, since we have been running about in search of it. We have gone back to ancient history for models of Government, and examined the different forms of those Republics which having been formed with the seeds of their own dissolution now no longer exist. And we have viewed Modern States all round Europe, but find none of their Constitutions suitable to our circumstances.

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with Great Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, & they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need his assistance?

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proof I see of this truth that God Governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that “except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments by Human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the Clergy of this City be requested to officiate in that Service.”

From the National Day of Prayer Official Website:

The History Of National Day Of Prayer

Why We Pray:  This is a brief statement of the importance of prayer at significant times in our nation’s history.

What to Pray For:  The National Day of Prayer Task Force is suggesting 7 points of prayer x 7 days a week:

7×7 involves praying for seven centers of power seven days a week:

Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.

If you click on the embedded links, each will take you to a page with reflections, suggested prayers and Bible verses for that point of power.  If you would like to pray with others in your area they have a map that will take you to local gatherings.

May we remember and ponder these words of the Lord to Solomon:

“If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among my people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:13-14 (NASB)

This is perhaps the most important National Day of Prayer in our lifetime.  Pray for our country.

Crossposted to Be John Galt and J’s Cafe Nette.

H/T:  The National Day of Prayer Official Website, The Congressional Prayer Caucus, The Sheila Variations.

Benjamin Franklin’s speech:  Holograph manuscript copy, from Manuscript Division, Library of Congress.