National Day of Prayer

National Day of Prayer

During the first week of May for each of the past twenty-nine years there is an occasion that I believe should mean more to us than it does: National Day of Prayer.

We often lament the spiritual and moral condition of our nation evidenced by rampant secularism (that seeps more deeply into the church than we would even imagine), abortion on demand, the definition of marriage, gender-identity confusion, the marginalization of the church in public life, and of the Christian worldview in public discourse, and an increasingly comfortable denial of the undeniable role of Scripture in the forming of our national values, freedoms, and laws. In addition to these hot-button issues, there is also the deepening political divide in our nation that most often encourages (rather than confronts) selfishly entrenched and functionally God-less ideologies. Yet, when a Day of Prayer is actually identified in our nation, for we believers to use however we wish—this year, Thursday, May 4—we can all too easily dismiss that opportunity as too political, or too partisan, or too ecumenical.

Let’s not allow that to happen to us! Here at Grace Church we want to observe, to take full advantage of, National Day of Prayer. Some of you may be attending city or institutional prayer breakfasts, or other like gatherings, on that date.  That is very good—we need a more intentional gospel presence in such spheres. But in order to facilitate focused intercession for our nation, and also for the state of the church within it, with genuineness and all sincerity, we will have our Sanctuary open from 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. on National Day of Prayer, for use as a Prayer Room. There will be no formal service that morning; we will simply have our Sanctuary open, with a staff member present, and a scrolling series of slides projected on a screen offering prayer prompts, to facilitate personal or (if you choose) small group prayer.

Let us pray that God will once again pour out His Spirit on this spiritually needy land. Let us pray that He will pour out His Spirit on His church. Let us pray that His Name will be hallowed among us, and that His Kingdom will come, and His will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Let’s pray that He will provide for us this day all that we need, and that He will forgive us with such a powerful manifestation of gospel grace that it would show itself undeniably in our forgiveness of one another. And let’s surely pray that He will not lead us into temptation, but will deliver us from evil for His own Name’s sake, and to the praise of His glorious grace.

Let’s not allow ourselves to slip into an incessant and faithless complaining about the state of the church and the state of our nation. Let us seek God to awaken both, and to lead us all toward patterns of life that properly adorn the gospel.