NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2015
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BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A Proclamation for the National Day of Prayer
When women and men of all backgrounds and beliefs are free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world. In America, our Nation is stronger because we welcome and respect people of all faiths, and because we protect the fundamental right of all peoples to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and discrimination. Today, as we pause in solemn reflection, we celebrate the religious liberty we cherish here at home, and we recommit to standing up for religious freedom around the world.
For many of us, prayer is an important expression of faith—an essential act of worship and a daily discipline that allows reflection, provides guidance, and offers solace. Through prayer we find the strength to do God's work: to feed the hungry, care for the poor, comfort the afflicted, and make peace where there is strife. In times of uncertainty or tragedy, Americans offer humble supplications for comfort for those who mourn, for healing for those who are sick, and for protection for those who are in harm's way. When we pray, we are reminded that we are not alone—our hope is a common hope, our pain is shared, and we are all children of God.
Around the globe, too few know the protections we enjoy in America. Millions of individuals worldwide are subjected to discrimination, abuse, and sanctioned violence simply for exercising their religion or choosing not to claim a faith. Communities are threatened with genocide and driven from their homelands because of who they are or how they pray. The United States will continue to stand against these reprehensible attacks, work to end them, and protect religious freedom throughout the world. And we remember those who are prisoners of conscience—who are held unjustly because of their faiths or beliefs—and we will take every action within our power to secure their release.
In the face of tremendous challenges, prayer is a powerful force for peace, justice, and a brighter, more hopeful tomorrow. Today, as we join together in fellowship, we seek to see our own reflection in the struggle of others, to be our brothers' and sisters' keepers, and to keep faith—in one another, in the promise of our Nation, and in the Almighty.
The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 7, 2015, as a National Day of Prayer. I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God's continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this sixth day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand fifteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-ninth.
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The eyes of many in the Church are watching closely an anticipated ruling in June by the Supreme Court of the United States regarding same-sex marriage. Many believe that this battle for the family and a traditional biblical view of marriage is already over. From a worldly perspective, that may be true. But we are a people of faith who put our trust in the Lord, not in courts, or presidents, or public opinion. The Word of God is filled with examples of God responding to the prayers of His people in miraculous ways that surprise a watching world. May He do it again as we humbly come before Him in prayer. We encourage you to pray though these points and scriptures regularly.
Here are some ways we might pray:
1.Thank the Lord for the gift of family. Express your gratitude that family is God’s by design and not human invention.
2. Ask for forgiveness on behalf of the Church for failing to model godly families before our society. We bear much blame for the deterioration of marriage and the family. (1 Timothy 5:8)
3. Pray for help to live out God’s intent for the family. May our homes become outposts for God’s kingdom. (Acts 10:2)
4. Confess our sins of responding to those caught up in a homosexual lifestyle with anger or hatred. Ask for help to love as Christ loves. (John 8:11)
5. Pray that the Lord would show us in practical ways how to speak the truth in love according to His Word. (Ephesians 4:15)
6. Ask God to pour out His wisdom on His people that we might see clearly the attack of the enemy on His design for marriage. May God’s wisdom give us insight into the results of tearing down traditional one man-one woman marriage. (James 1:5)
7. Plead with the Lord for divine intervention upon the Supreme Court. Pray that He would give wisdom and courage to these jurists to respond in righteousness. (Job 21:22; Job 9:24; Isaiah 1:26)
A Model Prayer
Father, we are grateful to be able to call You that. To know that through Jesus, we have been brought into Your family. Thank You that our earthly families, as imperfect as they are, are a reflection of the eternal family for which You are our forever Father. Forgive us Lord, for not being better pictures of what the family is intended to be. Help us Lord to live out our lives in families with godliness, love, purity, and truth.
This broken world has affected all of us in so many damaging ways. We thank You for accepting us in our brokenness through Jesus, and for Your commitment to bringing us to spiritual and emotional health and wholeness. Forgive us as your people when we have gone on the offensive against those caught up in any sexual sin. Teach us how to live as You lived as You walked among us, Lord Jesus. We want to love as You loved and speak truth as You spoke truth.
From a place of humility before You, we plead with You Lord, to intervene to preserve Your intent regarding marriage. From the High Court of Heaven, would you step down into the Supreme Court of the United States to bring about Your will and purposes regarding the family? Give that wisdom which only You can give. Pour out righteousness upon our land. According to the word of the prophet Isaiah, would You restore our judges that they might rule according to Your purposes and desires? We ask this, for your honor and glory, in the majestic name of Jesus. Amen!
- Dr. David Butts - Chairman of America's National Prayer Committee
President, Harvest Prayer Ministries, http://harvestprayer.com
© 2015. Permission granted to reproduce as long as web address and copyright statement is included.
Dr. Jack Graham
Our world is in turmoil... unstable... full of pressures and uncertainties. And sometimes the problems can seem so overwhelming we wonder if there are any answers to the needs, to the troubles, to the tribulations we face. But there is an answer. And that answer can be found in prayer. In fact, God is looking for people like you and me who will so connect with Him in prayer, that He can unleash His power through us. It is a power to overcome any trial, any difficulty, and any challenge. It's a power that can change our nation, and our world!
Join me as we pray for America on the National Day of Prayer, Thursday, May 7th!
Dr. Jack Graham, Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer:
The 64th annual National Day of Prayer, May 7, 2015, will have profound significance for our country. It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.
Our theme for 2015 is Lord, Hear Our Cry, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen I Kings 8:28 as our Scripture for this year: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”
For the May 7th observances, Dr. Jack Graham, the 2015 Honorary Chairman, wrote a special prayer to be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (EDT). This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us. Millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by our volunteer coordinators and people just like you! We hope you’ll join with our staff again as we seek to bring more communities than ever before together in prayer. As a way of assisting you, we have assembled a variety of resources that describe how to organize and publicize citywide prayer breakfasts, worship services, and rallies. These materials also present creative ideas geared toward helping individuals and families to establish meaningful devotional times. If you have any questions after reviewing these items, please don’t hesitate to contact our NDP staff at (800) 444-8828. We would count it a privilege to lend a hand in whatever manner we are able.
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray. Thank you in advance for making this spiritual discipline a personal priority and for standing with us as we encourage others to incorporate prayer in their lives. The Lord has graciously anointed our efforts, empowering them to touch and change many hearts and lives. We look forward to seeing His hand move across our land in exciting ways each May in response to our petitions! In closing, we ask that you prayerfully consider becoming a volunteer in your church or community to lead a National Day of Prayer gathering. May the Lord’s peace fill your heart as you rest in Him throughout the days ahead.