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Nation needs National Day of Prayer
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Nation needs National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer 2021

The National Day of Prayer, instituted in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress, is observed the first Thursday of May every year to acknowledge and celebrate the understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible. There’s a new focus each year, but always under the umbrella of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

David Ruis in the 1990s wrote a song entitled “There Must Be More” that resonates in the heart of everyone, especially these days.

“Lord I groan, Lord I kneel;

I’m cryin’ out for something real;

’Cause I know deep in my soul;

There must be more.

Lord I’m tired, yes I’m weak;

I need your power to work in me;

But I can’t let go, I keep hangin’ on;

There must be more.”

We all feel that way. There must be more to life than what we are experiencing. There must be more to God than what we’ve been taught and believe. If the Word of God in the Bible is the essence of God and a roadmap for our lives, then something is missing because we’re not living the Great Commission.

The National Day of Prayer was instituted in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The event is observed the first Thursday of May every year to acknowledge and celebrate the understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible. There’s a new focus each year, but always under the umbrella of 2 Chronicles 7:14.

“If My people who are called by My name will 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.”

Perhaps the verse that precedes could be considered most appropriate this year.

“When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people …”

It does seem like heaven has been shut; we’re plagued by pestilence of one sort or another all around the world. But see what God says in Verse 14. Even in the midst of all the adversity there is something we can do to change that. It’s called prayer. God affirms that if we, His people, will humble ourselves – that means shed our pride and admit we need help. And if we will pray and turn to God for His answers and turn from our wicked ways – those things God hates – then He will hear our prayers. He will forgive our sins and heal our land. We have a part to play to turn this around.

So on the National Day of Prayer we set time aside to do exactly what the Lord has asked us to do. We pray. We turn from the things God hates and determine to humbly seek God for change in our world. This past year saw a dramatic shift in the way people responded to God’s call on the National Day of Prayer. Prayer drives and flights, virtual prayer, TV broadcasts and internet streaming were developed to augment participation in the event.

This year’s theme is based upon 2 Corinthians 3:17 – “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” The theme is “Lord pour out Your love, life and liberty.” Love is not used as an emotion; it instead sets us in motion with eternal destinies at stake. Life is recognized as sacred and holy, abundant and eternal. Liberty for all in bondage to sin and death breaks every chain and shackle, turning painful memories into praise-filled miracles.

Now is the time to step up, not back as we have done; our nation needs more prayer. Prayer has been woven into the fabric of America from the onset, but now the fabric is frayed; it’s time to mend it once again. It’s time to cry out for something more. It’s time to just quit hanging on. It’s time to pray for God’s power to act in us and our land.

Visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org for more information. The national organization will livestream in the evening. Some are choosing to assemble locally from noon to 1 p.m. May 6. Anyone is welcome to gather to seek the Lord’s face, for our nation to come back to God.

Married for 44 years, Darlene Stern and her husband have raised a family of nine in rural southeast Wisconsin. She has been a stay-at-home mom, goat herdsperson, dyslexia tutor, midwifery advocate, newsletter creator, manuscript editor, published author, model for professional artists and passionate pursuer of Jesus Christ. Her degree in geography is from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.

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