COLORADO SPRINGS – Seventy years ago, the late Dr. Billy Graham preached from the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building with a message that that included a passionate request for Congress and the President to establish a National Day of Prayer
President Truman responded positively and nearly immediately. In 1988, President Reagan approved an amendment from Congress that set aside the first Thursday in May as our annual National Day of Prayer.
This year, perhaps more than ever, our country stands in need of prayer as we witness more and more evidence that the number of Christ-followers in America appears to be diminishing as more people identify as culture followers.
Standing in the Way of Prayer
The current culture shift is a movement that follows a broader path to a much wider gate than the difficult road that goes through the narrow – and only – gate to the Kingdom of God. (See Matthew 7:13-14; John 14:6)
The National Day of Prayer in 2020 was vastly different due to the widespread panic and the global response regarding the COVID-19 crisis. Organizers across the country scrambled to replace in-person gatherings with online, virtual events.
This year, for the first time ever, the permit for the annual prayer meeting held on those same Capitol Building steps has been denied. Ostensibly, the denial is part of the fallout from the January 6 protests. Christians are not being targeted. The entire area around the Capitol is off-limits for public meetings as a precautionary measure.
On another front, the Atheist Community of Polk County, Florida, is intentionally and actively countering the National Day of Prayer with a Secular Week of Action. The group wants “ to let other nonbelievers know that there is a secular community here they can turn to. And we want to challenge the misconceptions and stereotypes about atheists.”
The group’s slogans for the week include “Good without God,” “Community without Church,” and “Fellowship without Faith.” A member of the group will open this week’s county commissioners meeting with “a secular invocation.”
Standing in the Need of Prayer
When the hearts of a nation’s people and its leaders are set upon trusting and obeying our Creator and Lord, that nation can reasonably expect to prosper under His blessing. Using 2 Corinthians 3:17, the theme for the 2021 National Day of Prayer is, “LORD, pour out Your LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY.”
“It is our prayer today and throughout 2021 that the Spirit of the Lord, pour out, pour through us across America, to fill our lives, families, churches, workplace, education, military, government, arts, entertainment, and media, with Biblical, not cultural, not worldly, but Spirit-empowered, Spirit-filled LOVE, LIFE and LIBERTY as designed and defined by our Creator and Savior.”
“We live in a nation that does not respect life – all life from womb to tomb. We are surrounded by people who cannot be inconvenienced or made uncomfortable.”
Our country stands in need of prayer. Our neighbors and coworkers stand in need of prayer. And so, we pray.
But the National Day of Prayer Task Force also reminds us that “First and foremost, people need to hear the message and experience the love of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Praying and sharing the Gospel are things we can – and should – be doing every day. May 6 would be a great time to start.
Standing in Prayer with Others
We can each be a part of the National Day of Prayer Broadcast by live-streaming the event in our homes. The live broadcast will begin at 7:45 pm on May 6, from the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC.
Connect to the live-streaming event using this link from National Day of Prayer.
Read more news on Prayer on Missions Box.
- National Day of Prayer Task Force, Introducing the National Day of Prayer 2021 Theme
- Good News Network, Atheists Respond to National Day of Prayer This Week With Action to Feed the Hungry and Clean Up Litter
- Christian Headlines, Pastor Denied Permit to Hold NationalDay of Prayer Event at the U.S. Capitol Building
- The Alabama Baptist, 2021 National Day of Prayer focuses on ‘Love, Life, and Liberty’