National Day of Prayer Calls People of All Faiths to Fervent Prayer
May 4, 2023, 8:05 AM | Updated: 4:25 pm
Millions of Americans will gather in homes and churches nationwide on Thursday, May 4, 2023, to participate in National Day of Prayer, an annual event that calls on people of all faith backgrounds to stop and pray for our nation.
“For over 70 years, the National Day of Prayer has brought God’s children together with united hearts and united prayer for America,” shares Kathy Branzell, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The yearly event “has created a movement of prayerful unity for neighbor and nation throughout the year.”
The theme of this year’s event is “Pray Fervently in Righteousness and Avail Much,” which comes from James 5:16 in the Bible.
The New King James Version (NKJV) reads, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
The National Day of Prayer task force further expands on this year’s theme, sharing, “Fervency flows from the heart; it is a humbled pouring out of a sincere heart seeking the heart and hand of God to move in our circumstances for His victory and glory. There is a passion in fervent prayer that incites the compassion of the Father as He hears His child’s cry for help, direction, wisdom, provision, rest, or refuge.”
This year, Branzell will co-host the event with Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and senior pastor of New Season Church. “America is broken,” Rodriguez shares. “The answer is Jesus. If we pray, God will show up.”
Rodriguez isn’t alone in his convictions. According to Gallup, 81% of Americans report that they believe in God, and 42% of Americans say, “God hears prayers and can intervene on a person’s behalf.”
This widespread belief in the power of prayer has undoubtedly contributed to the popularity of the national holiday.
For nearly half of all Americans, National Day of Prayer provides an excellent opportunity and reminder to partner with other believers to pray more intentionally, whether publicly in an official prayer group or privately in their prayer journal.
Constitutionality of National Day of Prayer Questioned
Since the National Day of Prayer was first signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952, the day hasn’t been without controversy.
“Though the vast majority of adults say religion should be kept separate from government policies (73%),” according to a study conducted by Pew Research, the National Day of Prayer is one day when the two appear to mix.
Last year, President Joe Biden signed an official proclamation stating, “I call upon the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection.”
While many Americans are grateful for a federal holiday honoring the importance of prayer, not everyone agrees.
In 2010, federal judge Barbara Crabb found National Day of Prayer unconstitutional after a group of atheists and agnostics known as the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit arguing that the federal holiday violated the separation of church and state granted by the first amendment. The ruling was later overturned.
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, “Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.”
How to Participate in National Day of Prayer
For those interested in watching the broadcast live, the official National Day of Prayer program will air across a variety of networks at 8 p.m. Eastern Time. You don’t have to watch the official broadcast to participate, however.
“In addition to the national broadcast reaching an audience of nearly 110 million U.S. households through television, radio, and online,” the task force anticipates millions more will participate through the tens of thousands of in-person events available throughout every state and U.S. territory. Many more believers will simply pause to pray throughout the day without attending an official event.
Event coordinators are encouraging individuals, families, and prayer groups to pray fervently and specifically for those in the government, education, churches, families, military, businesses, and the media.
Author Brooke McGlothlin, the founder of Million Praying Moms, is encouraging her readers to pray for their children every hour on the hour. “I believe our country, the world, and the Church need praying moms now more than ever,” she writes. “There has never been a better time to pray for the hearts of our children.”
In addition to praying for others, participants are also welcome to pray for their individual needs and concerns and to seek the kingdom of God to gain wisdom for difficult decisions or to find greater peace and comfort in the difficult circumstances they face.
Those interested in participating in the National Day of Prayer can find information on the National Day of Prayer Task Force website. The live broadcast, local and online events, and several free downloadable resources, including themed small group prayer guides, location-specific prayer maps, and printable prayer calendars, are available online.
This article was produced by Equipping Godly Women and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.