Did you know that on the first Thursday of May, people gather in cities across our nation to pray for God’s hand of blessing to be upon the United States of America ? I had heard about the National Day of Prayer for many years before I ever attended an observance. Although I am a person of prayer, I had never seen the need to participate in a gathering. I thought, “Well, I pray for my nation all the time. Why do I need to show up at an event with a bunch of strangers and listen to people I don’t know pray at a microphone?”
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
When I began showing up, I heard children’s choirs glorifying God, worship teams declaring the greatness of God, passionate prayers, profound moments of repentance, and I even ended up recognizing some people in the crowd and at the mic. Today I was thinking about my journey to supporting the National Day of Prayer and I thought it might be helpful to share five reasons YOU should find and attend a gathering in your community.
5 Reasons YOU Should Attend A National Day of Prayer Gathering in Your City:
#1 - There’s power in agreement! Jesus teaches in Matthew 18:19 that, “if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.” Not only are you agreeing in prayer with the people at your local gathering, you’re agreeing in prayer with hundreds of thousands gathered at city halls and capitals around the nation. We have Jesus’ promise that our good Father will respond and answer those prayers!
#2 - Jesus promises to be with us when we gather! In Matthew 18:20, Jesus teaches that he shows up where “two or three come together in my name.” Why miss an opportunity to be with Jesus? Anything can happen when Jesus is among us!
#3 - There’s a commanded blessing in unity! According to Psalm 133, wherever the people of God choose to “live together” in unity, God releases a blessing upon the community. Have you ever dreamed with God about what it would look like when your city/state/nation is transformed by the gospel? A city where righteousness and justice are the plumb line….where businesses look out for people more than the bottom line, where human trafficking is non-existent, where abortion has been abolished and unwed mamas have homes, love, and support, where every child is safe and loved and our schools are havens and educational powerhouses, where the effects of past and present-day racism have been expunged from our society, and the list goes on and on. Remember, unity is a GIFT the Body of Christ gives to their city.
#4 - Meeting new people! Staying with Psalm 133, you may be asking how does one gathering make a difference with growing in unity? Showing up for a NDOP prayer event is a great way to meet people who share your heart for healing, revival, and transformation. Plus, lots of different cultures and denominations are present in those gatherings. You never know when a kind stranger can eventually become a good friend. Unity grows at the speed of relationship.
#5 - It’s sanctioned by our government! What?! It's true! According to Wikipedia, the National Day of Prayer, “is an annual day of observance held on the first Thursday of May, designated by the United States Congress, when people are asked "to turn to God in prayer and meditation". The president is required by law (36 U.S.C. § 119) to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.” How special is it that we live in a nation that still officially acknowledges our need for God’s intervention and guidance? This is a rare and beautiful thing. And there’s plenty of Biblical precedent of God granting mercy to a nation when its people repent from sin and wickedness and turn back to God (Ninevah, Israel, Judah). God delights in showing mercy!
"I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." 1 Timothy 2:1 - 2
Have I convinced you yet? Observances occur the first Thursday of every May from 12 - 1 p.m. You can find out where an event is being hosted in your city by going to this website: www.nationaldayofprayer.org
For those that live in the St. Louis area, there are literally dozens of gatherings all across the region. My good friends will be leading a gathering at Kinloch's city hall (the first one ever for Kinloch! Come on!!). Plus, I confirmed with Ferguon's mayor that one is happening there. I will be leading worship with my friend Pastor Mark Goins (Journey Church - Hanley Rd) at the St. Louis City Hall. The amazing Rev. Kimm Gaines is leading that particular event.
Our nation needs our intercession like never before. Find a location and GO. Let's make history together!
Contending for a healed nation,