I understand that is was President Harry Truman that signed a bill into law in 1952 making the National Day of Prayer for America an annual event on the first Thursday of May, encouraging millions across our nation to unite together to pray.
Today is that first Thursday. Now, I realize everyday should be a national day of prayer and a personal day of prayer, but being honest, I find everything in the world to deter me from praying.
I have work and more work, and cooking and caring for others in my life, cleaning the house, taking care of pets, taking the children to every activity they are involved in, even church activities, and television time and more. I am certain everyone can generate a list of all the great reasons why it is difficult to spend time in prayer. I was challenged by a fellow Christian to pray for just four minutes a day and have not been able to do that. Four minutes. Sad to admit my failure.
One of my friend’s favorite scripture is 1 John 5.14-15 that tells us. “and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He hears us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” So, the big question is, ‘why don’t we ask?’
I have a list for that too. Sometimes I doubt, sometimes I am lazy, sometimes I am apathetic, sometimes I think I can manage myself, sometimes I use my busy life as an excuse, and more.
The Word of God is clear that ‘the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.’ James 5.16. I want to make my prayer count and avail much for the ones I see in need. The homeless I pass along the road, the one walking miles down roads that seem to lead no where, the mother’s with their children in the grocery store, my family, the young men and women working each day to gain an education or work to make a better life for themselves, family struggling with depression and drug and alcohol addiction, and everyone I meet.
I am always astounded when I read how Jesus’ disciples asked Him, ‘Teach us to pray’ in Luke 11.1. Prayer is something that should come so naturally; something everyone knows how to do. We even see pictures of little children on their knees next to their beds, praying. I do not believe the disciples asked merely to learn how to ‘pray’ but to ‘pray the way He did!’ They saw the great works He did and how His life was committed to constant prayer. Amen to that.
Our world is in great need of prayer – from our leaders to our neighbors and families. God is still the answer and He still hears and answers prayers. I do not always pray for my leaders, but God’s word teaches us to. 1 Timothy 2.1-2 tells me – ‘I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.’
Join with the nation today and pray.
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