Every first Thursday of May is the National Day of Prayer.
While the modern National Day of Prayer that is observed today was officially enacted in 1952, a similar day was originally proposed by the Continental Congress is 1775.
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a privately-funded organization that promotes activities surrounding the observance, the purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to appeal to “people of all faiths to pray for the nation.”
Past observances have reportedly brought together over two million people annually at events in approximately 30,000 government buildings, schools, churches, businesses and private homes across America.
Members of the National Center’s Project 21 black leadership network are proud to be among those millions who are celebrating the National Day of Prayer this year.
Demetrius Minor, a Project 21 member who has served as college and career coordinator, an evangelist and a motivational speaker and who just recently finished religious studies at ministerial training center, said:
The National Day of Prayer is a solemn remainder of God’s many blessings that have been bestowed upon us.
It is also a time of unity, as we come together to ask God for guidance concerning our families, leaders and our communities.
While there will be many activities and ceremonies that will acknowledge this occasion, I urge all Americans to make every day a day of prayer and thanksgiving to Almighty God.
Project 21 member Council Nedd II, the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Missionary Church and chairman of In God We Trust pro-faith in government organization, added:
We are living in a time of great turmoil, with too many Americans pitted against each other so that a political agenda may advance.
On this National Day of Prayer, it appears to be more important than ever for us to pray for our leaders — in government, in business and in religious circles — to find balance and clarity. And we also need to pray for ourselves, so that calm might be restored to a republic that is being pushed to the limit on social issues, strained economically and fearful of events and threats abroad.
We are a good and just people living in a nation founded upon solid institutions of liberty. Today, let us pray that we be allowed to keep it.
Derryck Green, a member of Project 21 currently pursuing a doctorate in theology and ministry in southern California, said:
Our nation is beset by problems on all sides.
Many Americans continue to suffer financially due to the lackluster economic “recovery” that has failed to create the requisite number of jobs to address the growing numbers of the unemployed. The election of the first black president has seemed to increase racial acrimony rather than heal the wounds that would facilitate racial reconciliation and restoration. Societal mores and religious values, the cultural glue that previously bound and obligated us to one another and to God, has been eroded in favor of a cheap imitation that’s secular, hedonistic and narcissistic to its core.
Outside our borders, America no longer appears to possess the moral authority or national will to encourage and embolden our allies. We are also apparently unable to diplomatically deter or militarily intimidate our enemies to avert the evil that disrupts and destroys human lives.
All of this has created a healthy presence of apathy and despair permeating our culture — negatively affecting the nation as a whole.
For all these things and more, we should pause on this National Day of Prayer and petition the throne of grace and pray for our nation and our leaders.
We should ask God that our leaders receive the profoundly-needed wisdom and guidance as well as a sense of biblical justice.
In 1 Timothy 2:1, it is written that our prayers and petitions should be made on behalf of all men — particularly our elected leaders — so that we may live a life of peace and dignity. Many of us may have profound disagreements with our elected officials of all political beliefs, but that doesn’t absolve us of our responsibility to pray for their well-being. We should also pray that our nation recovers the biblical faith of our forefathers, remembering God’s promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14 that if we “humble ourselves, pray and seek his face and turn from our godless ways, then he will hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land.”
This should not only be our humble and sincere prayer for today, but for every day.
Project 21 member Stacy Swimp, a minister and born-again Christian, offered this prayer for the National Day of Prayer:
We come to you today, born-again believers — One Lord, One Baptism, One Faith — to humbly seeking your divine intervention
We need your help, Lord, that we may put our nation back on the right path, removing the demonic stronghold that has for too long lead us down the path of moral relativism where even so many of our children have forsaken your Word.
We have reaped the consequences of trusting government more than we trust you as a nation, in that we have countless broken families, record levels of unemployment, and leadership on every level of our government who have forgotten that righteousness exalts a nation!
Help us, Father. Pass us not, O gentle Savior. Restore us to you. Yes, lord, Revive us, that we may yet again rejoice in You.
Let the church say “Amen.”