Prayer Targets: National Day of Prayer; Free to Believe; NDP Events; Praying Men; Omnibus Bill
May 03, 2017
Hear Us... Forgive us... Heal us! For the Glory of Your Great Name (Dan 9:19)
(Theme & Official Prayer of the 2017 National Day of Prayer)
Dear Praying Friends,
On the eve of the National Day of Prayer, may each of us take to heart the official NDP prayer, authored by Chairperson Anne Graham Lotz (offered below with additions from her book The Daniel Prayer):
We worship You, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
You are the living God of our nation's founding fathers: George Washington, John Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, Patrick Henry, and many others. When we pledge our allegiance, it's as one nation under You. Every time we use American money to buy or sell, we make the statement that in You we have placed our trust.
We acknowledge that You are the One who has set us high above all the nations on the earth. You have made us the head and not the tail. We have led the free world. The whole world has known that we are identified with You, and they have respected us.
Again, and again, You have given us victory over our enemies. You have blessed us when we have gone out and when we have come in. You have blessed us in our bustling cities and in our beautiful countryside. You have blessed our "fruited plain" so that we have had an abundance for ourselves and for others. You have opened the storehouse of Your bounty, and have blessed the work of our hands. You have given us unprecedented prosperity so that in the past we have lent to many nations but been debtor to none (see Dt 28:1-14).
We now turn to You as the God of Our Fathers. You alone are our Hope for the future. If we as a nation do not get right with You, no one in Washington or in our state capitols can reverse the downward moral and spiritual spiral that has become a free fall and is provoking Your judgment. We approach You now with fear and trembling, as we confess our national sins:
We confess national addiction to sex. To money. To pleasure. To entertainment. To pornography. To technology. To drugs. To alcohol. To food. To television. To popularity. To ourselves.
We confess we no longer fear You, and thus we have not even the beginning of wisdom with which to handle the vast knowledge we possess.
We confess our foolishness of denying You as the one, true, living God, our Creator to whom we are accountable, living as though our lives are a cosmic accident with no eternal significance, purpose or meaning.
We confess our greed that has run up trillions of dollars of national debt.
We confess our arrogance and pride that has led us to think we are sufficient in ourselves.
We confess to believing that the prosperity of our nation has been great because we are great while refusing to acknowledge that all blessings come from Your hand.
We confess that we depend upon our military might and our weapons systems to protect us from harm and danger, while denying, defying, and ignoring You.
We confess that we have allowed the material blessings You have given us to deceive us into thinking we don't need You.
We confess that we live as though material wealth and prosperity will bring happiness.
We confess that we have marginalized truth and mainstreamed lies.
We confess choices that reveal we would rather live in bitterness, resentment, and anger, rather than forgive those who have hurt us or acknowledge our own wrongdoing.
We confess that we have become one nation under many gods, divided and polarized, with license to sin and justice that no longer follows the rule of law.
Therefore, we turn to You with tears of shame and a heart of fear for the judgment we are provoking. We repent of our sin. Please, God of Our Fathers, do not back away from us. Do not remove Your hand of blessing on us. As we return to You with humility...With sincerity...Out of necessity...With a desperate sense of urgency. Please! Return to us! Hear our prayer. Forgive our sin. Heal our land.
For the Glory of Your Great Name...JESUS. Amen.
(National Prayer 2017; Anne Graham Lotz, Chairperson, National Day of Prayer Task Force; some confessions taken with permission from The Daniel Prayer, Anne Graham Lotz, Zondervan Publishing, Grand Rapids, MI, 2016).
Christianity is not yet dead in America, but we are very sick and need healing. We are not reaching the lost around us. If we were whole, we would see widespread devotion to prayer and holy living, serious Bible study and biblical literacy, overflowing Christian love and fellowship, energetic local church ministry, cooperation and unity among churches, faithfulness to the great commission (evangelism, discipleship & world missions), dedication to bringing up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and equipping of the older youth to be bold representatives of Christ in an increasingly hostile world. Our churches would be ever-endeavoring to be salt and light in their communities and a prophetic voice in the public square. Believers would eagerly give to support the local church and give sacrificially to serve the truly poor and needy. And so much more. These outcomes are the natural fruit of a people in vital relationship with Jesus Christ and who are following Him as Lord.
Yet studies show that many Christians have become thoroughly compromised by being absorbed by the idols of our culture -- money, sports, entertainment, food, things, pleasure, etc. This neutralizes their spiritual power as believers and the collective power of their churches. For instance, according to recent studies, 55 percent of Christian men view pornography at least once per month, and 35 percent have been involved in an adulterous relationship (see Cause for Alarm). This is just one group of sins from a list of many, many more. American churches have become weak because we have forsaken the First Commandment, "You must have no other gods before Me" (Ex 20:3). We must return to Him not only for our own sake, but for our children and our nation!
The National Day of Prayer was proclaimed to be a day for Americans to join together openly to seek the face of God, to confess their sins and the sins of our nation, to repent as best we know how, to submit our lives and nation to God afresh, and to collectively call upon Him for help and mercy. Our nation's problems -- political, economic, and otherwise -- are spiritual problems at their roots and are directly related to our national sins and departure from God. Repentance needs to begin with God's people. How else will the church be in a position to win our lost family members, friends, colleagues, classmates, and fellow citizens? How else can we lead a national return to righteousness and justice, which are the foundations of God's throne (Ps. 89:14)?
When the Continental Congress called for days of prayer and fasting during the War for Independence, and when presidents have called for such days of prayer in times of national crisis throughout our national history, our citizens took them seriously. They came together in their houses of worship in large numbers to repent and turn to God! May we do likewise tomorrow at appointed NDP gathering places and every opportunity thereafter. We have a duty to God and our country!
May God stir his people to make tomorrow a turning point. May the American people draw closer to God this year. May the number of believers who join in seeking God for our nation reach critical mass, fulfilling all the prerequisite prescriptions of 2 Chronicles 7:14. May we pray with true humility to seek God's face (not just his hand) and turn from our wicked ways (everything that God calls sin). May the National Day of Prayer be a turning point for multiplied thousands, even millions of Americans, who will flee to God in repentance and faith. May "In God We Trust" and "One Nation Under God" become not just tired old mottos, but a fresh new reality in the hearts of all Americans, not only on great days of religious importance, but every day. Pray that he would be pleased to forgive, heal, and bless our land with times of refreshing (Ex 20:3 ff; Dt 18: all; 2 Chr 7:14; Ps 33:12; Jer 17:5-8; Mt 25:32-46; Lk 13:1-9; Acts 3:19).
Finally, please pray over these matters:
1) Yesterday, Tony Perkins hosted the "Free to Believe" webcast with experts on religious liberty and victims of anti-Christian persecution in America whose experiences necessitate action. View the video (also on YouTube), pray, and share with your friends. Take time to sign the petition asking the president to issue a Religious Freedom Executive Order.
2) FRC hosted the Pre-National Day of Prayer Men's Meeting in Washington earlier this morning. Pray that men will view the archived webcast at their convenience HERE.
3) The annual NDP National Observance will take place Thursday evening from 7:30 - 9:00 pm EDT (6:30 - 8:00 pm CDT, 5:30 - 7:00 pm MDT, 4:30 - 6:00 pm PDT, 3:30 - 5:00 pm AKDT, and 1:30 - 3:00 pm HST). It will be held in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. Click HERE to watch the event live.
4) A great deal of misinformation has and is being disseminated, even by some conservative TV, radio, print and web media outlets, about the motives and actions of conservatives in Congress who supported the Omnibus Continuing Budget Resolution compromise, which was passed to prevent the partial shutdown of the federal government. It can be complicated. Read Tony Perkins' very important commentary "Omnibus Picks up New Riders,"and pray!
As always, thank you for praying!
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain and National Prayer Director
Family Research Council
801 G Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001