Prayer Targets: National Day of Prayer
April 27, 2016
Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet. Declare to my people their rebellion, to the descendants of Jacob their sins. Isaiah 58:1 (National Day of Prayer 2016)
Dear Praying Friends,
Thursday, May 5th is the National Day of Prayer! During America's colonial period many of our Forefathers: pastors, teachers, governors, legislators and other religious and civil leaders did all they could to guide the people in their jurisdictions to seek the favor, protection and guidance of Almighty God. They called for routine public observances and special days for all citizens to humble themselves, fast, pray and repent of sin. They knew that sin, unrepented of, would separate our country from God, undermine God's blessing, and incur His judgment.
With few exceptions, our Founding Fathers were steeped in a biblical world view. Most learned to read by reading the Bible and many were educated from Scripture-filled primers. As young law students they learned from William Blackstone, whose Commentaries on the Laws of England, was the legal textbook of the period. Blackstone exalted God's Law as the foundation for and superior to all just human law (see Douglas H. Cook, Regent University).
Consequently, they were familiar with the story of Achan, whose private sin brought defeat to Israel by its enemies and great loss of life (Joshua 7). They quoted in their private and public statements the scripture: "Righteousness exalts a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people" Pr 14:34. They believed literally: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord" (Ps 33:12); "When the righteous are in authority the people rejoice, but when the wicked bear rule the people mourn" (Pr 29:2); and "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God" (Ps 9:17).
Just after armed conflict broke out with the British in Lexington and Concord, the Second Continental Congress provided a rallying point that brought Americans together as one nation: a nationwide call to prayer. The resolution called for a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer throughout the Colonies on Thursday, July 20th, 1775. Fellow patriot James Warren wrote Samuel Adams:
Three millions of people on their knees at once, supplicating the aid of Heaven, is a striking circumstance, and a very singular one in America. May the blessings of Heaven follow in answer to our prayers... (Samuel Adams: A Life; Ira Stoll, 2008)
Their prayers were heard. Since the time of the Pilgrims, colonial governors and legislatures had issued hundreds of proclamations, calling upon Americans to repent, fast and pray.
Today's National Day of Prayer hails from that pivotal nationwide prayer meeting one year before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which could be considered the first truly national day of prayer. America was conceived, birthed, and continues to be sustained by prayer. That first national prayer meeting further united the colonies, and on the basis of that unity in the face of tyranny, the Founders declared Independence. Scores of the faithful, pleading for God's favor and willing to lay down their lives for the cause of liberty, contributed to the defeat of the most powerful nation at the end of eight long years of war. Founder Ben Franklin's call for prayer at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia turned the tide of the meeting that produced our Constitution, which has in turn produced the longest period of prosperity coupled with religious and political liberty of any nation in history. But the key was the faith of the American people of the founding era, a faith nurtured by immersion in the Holy Scriptures, strengthened by times of sincere, humble and fervent, corporate prayer, inspired by the preaching of courageous patriot pastors, and lived out with a bold determination to arise and defend their God-given liberties.
National Day of Prayer 2016 -- The theme of this year's National Day of Prayer is "Wake Up America," based on Is 58:1. The need could not be greater. Consider these well-known sobering facts: 1) We are in the midst of critical election year that literally could impact the destiny of our nation; 2) We have a president and administration dedicated to advancing abortion and radical LGBTQ agendas as its highest priorities while ignoring matters of national security, religious liberty, the economy and more, while implementing policies that make our problems worse; 3) We have a Supreme Court that has redefined marriage and cannot even protect the Little Sisters of the Poor from federal abuse; 4) We have seen Christian men and women being fired, fined, bankrupted even jailed for refusing to submit to the radical new LGBTQ political correctness; 5) The federal government threatens to withhold federal funding from local school districts that refuse to open up locker rooms, bathrooms showers, sports teams and dressing rooms to members of the opposite sex in the name of non-discrimination; 6) Big-business has openly embraced policies of allow both men and women to use the same bathrooms and dressing rooms, and companies are ganging up on governors and legislatures that attempt to protect religious liberty and public safety of their people; 7) Finally, the church has been compromised and weakened by secret sins of pornography, promiscuity, acts of perversion and even contributing to the abortion epidemic.
It seems that much of America has become morally and spiritual insane, blind and hostile toward eternal truth. All the while, our leaders ignore America's huge economic problems, national security threats, and uncontrolled immigration. And we are losing our children. A poll published Monday says America's youth have bought into the ideology of class warfare and socialism wholesale. One socialist organization says "this is our moment!"
Yet this is the moment for God's people to humble ourselves, seek his face and to plead with God for America's deliverance and revival! Only God's intervention in response can turn the tide. If ever there was a time for Christians to repent from being little different than our unconverted neighbors, from secret sins and addictions that ruin lives, marriages and families, it is now. If there was ever a time for God's people to turn from sin, pursue holiness and give ourselves sacrificially to impact our culture for righteousness and to save our nation, it is now!
Congress passed and President Harry Truman signed the annual National Day of Prayer into law in 1952. In 1988, the National Prayer Committee requested, Congress passed and President Reagan signed a resolution making the National Day of Prayer the first Thursday in May every year. I pray that you, your family and church will take the National Day of Prayer seriously and take part in one of the 40,000+ separate observances planned on Thursday, May 5th.
- May God bless the tens of thousands of volunteers who have spent themselves laboring to advance this great prayer effort! May he now use this important day to stir America to prayer and to make this National Day of Prayer as successful as was the first National Day of Prayer in July, 1775. May God hear our prayer, forgive our sins, and heal our land! (2 Chr 7:14; Is 58: all; Joel 1:14; 2:15-17; 1 Tim 2:1-8; Rev 8:3-5)
2) Register to View NDP's live Men's Study & Prayer Meeting online, Wednesday, 10 AM - NOON EDT HERE! FRC is privileged to host the annual NDP Men-only Study & Prayer Meeting featuring Dr. Tony Evans, Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, Dr. James Dobson, Tony Perkins and other great Christian leaders (visit the FRC Events Site HERE).
3) Download a Bulletin Insert/Flier to include in your church bulletin or pass out at a community or family event. You can duplicate as many as you like.
4) Watch the National Event on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, via God.tv/live, on Direct TV, Roku or other services from 9:00 AM till 12:30 PM EDT, and 9 PM till 12:30 AM EDT: See Dr. James & Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Rep. Robert Aderholt, Dr. Tony Evans, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, Anne Graham Lotz, Veritas, Dr. Dick Eastman, Dr. David Butts, Rev. John Bornschein & others.