Today the United States commemorates the 59th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
Americans have been praying for our country since before there was a country. In 1775, the Continental Congress called on the people to pray for wisdom in creating this new great experiment in freedom. Since then prayer has been an integral part of our national history.
The Presidential Proclamation for the 2010 National Day of Prayer says:
I call upon the citizens of our Nation to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.
The First Amendment to the Constitution gives us the right to pray in accordance with the religion of our choice:
Amendment 1 – Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression. Ratified 12/15/1791.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
As a Christian, I will practice my faith today to pray to Almighty God for the United States.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of thy favour and glad to do thy will. Bless our land with honourable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogancy, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth. In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail; all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. ~ Prayer for Our Country, 1928 Book of Common Prayer
2010 Prayer for the National Day of Prayer
by Franklin Graham – 2010 Honorary Chairman
We are thankful for the abundant blessings You have bestowed on America. Our forefathers looked to You as Protector, Provider, and the Promise of hope. But we have wandered far from that firm foundation. May we repent for turning our backs on Your faithfulness.
We pray that this great nation will be restored by Your forgiveness.
From bondage, You grant freedom.
Through Your own sacrifice, You offer salvation.
From the state of despair, You offer peace.
From the bounties of Heaven, You have blessed – not because of our goodness – but by Your grace.
You have given us freedom to worship You in spirit and in truth as Your holy Word instructs. May our lives honor You in word and deed. May our nation acknowledge that all good things come from the Father above.
President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that our nation should set apart a day for national prayer to confess our sins and transgressions in sorrow, “yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon… announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”
“We have vainly imagined in the deceitfulness of our own hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own… we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us! It behooves us then… to confess our national sins and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.”
Help us to pray earnestly for our president and leaders who govern, that they will humble themselves and seek Your guidance so that everything we do will shine the light of Your glory in a darkened world.
May our prayers as a people and a nation be heard and blessed for such a time as this. We make this plea in faith, believing in the mighty name of Jesus our Lord.