NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
For years, the first Thursday in May has been designated the National Day of Prayer. Across America, followers of JESUS join together to pray for GOD to move in our churches, in our communities, in our state, in our nation, and in our world.
With the current corona virus pandemic, the national day of prayer is perfectly timed! People have died. People are hospitalized. People are sick at home. People have lost their jobs. People have experienced a significant rise in anxiety. People face an uncertain future.
As the people of GOD, let's make Thursday a national day of prayer in our own personal lives. The corona virus crises compels us to seek GOD with fervency and desperation. It is the formula for revival and spiritual awakening. II Chronicles 7:14 declares, "If 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 and will forgive their sin and heal their land." This verse, given to the people of GOD, reflects the heart of GOD for His people. He willingly hears our cries of desperation in the time of trouble. He promises to respond if we will seek Him.
One method of praying is ACTS:
Begin with Adoration. Reflect on the sovereign goodness of GOD. Rejoice in who He is and what He has done and continues to do. Hebrews 1:2-3 declares, "But in these last days He has spoken to us by his Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom also He made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful word."
Continue with Confession. First, each person seeks forgiveness for personal sin. I John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." We must cry out to GOD, confessing our sins to Him, and claiming His promise of forgiveness. But we must also call out to GOD the sins of our nation. Ezra did. In Ezra 9:6-7, he prayed, "O my GOD, I am ashamed and blush to lift my fact to you, my GOD, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens. From the days of our fathers to this day we have been in great guilt. And for our iniquities we, our kings, and our priests have been given into the hand of the kings of the lands, to the sword, to captivity, to plundering, and to utter shame, as it is today." Nehemiah 9 also contains a reference to the Israelites gathered for a national confession of sin.
Proceed to Thanksgiving. In prayer, express gratitude to GOD. Psalm 136:1 declares, "Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever." Give thanks to GOD for His attributes. Give thanks to GOD for His salvation. Give thanks to GOD for His presence in your life. I Thessalonians 5:18 reminds us, "Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of GOD in CHRIST JESUS for you."
Climax with Supplication. Pray specifically for people in need of prayer. I Timothy 2:1 says, "First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people." Here is an example: Pray for the medical community. Pray for GOD to strengthen and sustain medical personnel. Pray that GOD would protect them and their families as they treat people with COVID-19. Pray that GOD would bless the efforts of those who are seeking to develop vaccines for the corona virus. Pray for GOD to heal those who have the corona virus. Pray for GOD to show His mercy by bringing an end to this pandemic. Pray for people who are out of work. Pray for people who are struggling with anxiety, isolation, and depression. Pray for specific members of your family. Pray for specific members of your church family.
One person has said, "The coming revival must begin with a great revival of prayer. It is in the closet, with the door shut, that the sound of abundance of rain will first be heard. An increase of secret prayer with GOD's people will be the sure harbinger of blessing."
Now, more than ever, we need to pray. Please spend quality time praying this Thursday - the National Day of Prayer.