We pray because…
- We love God. We spend time with God in prayer and communion because we love him. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we – if we love God – will desire to be with Him and to fellowship with Him in proportion to our love for Him.
- We depend on God. God is our source. He is our life (Colossians 3:4). Through prayer we receive the comfort, the strength and all the other resources that we need in life – both naturally and spiritually. Prayer – relationship to God – is as necessary to the spiritual life as air to the natural life.
- We need to resist temptation. “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” (Mt. 26:41). Much sin is the result of the sin of prayerlessness. Through lack of prayer, we are weak, others are weaker and Satan gains the advantage in our lives.
- It is necessary for men to invite God to act in salvation. God gave the earth to Adam and his descendants. We must invite God to work here. If no-one invites God to work here, Satan (the god of this world through man’s universal rebellion – 2 Corinthians 4:4) will dominate the affairs of men and eventually the judgment of God will come. By inviting God often and specifically, multitudes can be saved that would otherwise be lost.
- God commands us to pray. “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2). “Then he [Jesus] spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not lose heart.” (Luke 18:1). The need to pray is as great as the authority of God which commands us: “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Prayer is so vital to all that God wants to do on the earth, and so essential to us, that God commands us to do it all the time. We should even deny ourselves sleep and food at times in order to pray more and with greater power. (Matthew 6:16; Luke 6:12; Luke 21:36; Colossians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 11:27).
As American troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, President Franklin Roosevelt called for our nation to unite in prayer. He also offered a prayer to prepare each citizen for the road ahead.
"Let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be. And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee." – FDR
The victory that followed on June 6, 1944, also known as D-Day, began the march to Berlin. Eighteen months later, WWII was over and one of the world’s greatest evils had been defeated. The prayers of a nation had been a powerful force.
Prayer has always been used in this country for guidance, protection and strength-even before we were a nation or a handful of colonies. The Pilgrims at Plymouth relied on prayer during their first and darkest winter. Our founding fathers also called for prayer during the Constitutional Convention. In their eyes, our recently created nation and freedoms were a direct gift from God. And being a gift from God, there was only one way to insure protection-through prayer.
"It is the duty of nations, as well as men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God." – Abraham Lincoln
When it came to the fate of the nation, Abraham Lincoln practiced what he preached. Before the battle of Gettysburg, he turned to God in prayer. He said that he went to his room one day, locked the door and got down on his knees before Almighty God and prayed mightily for victory at Gettysburg. Won by the Union, Gettysburg was one of the turning points in the war that ended slavery and kept the states united. Today the need for prayer is as great as ever. Our nation again faces battlefields, along with an epidemic of broken homes, violence, sexual immorality and social strife. As the heroes of our nation did in the past, we must again bow our heads in prayer. We must ask the Lord to bless our leaders with wisdom and protection, and that we will have the fortitude to overcome the challenges at hand. If Roosevelt, the Pilgrims and Lincoln never underestimated the power of prayer, neither should we.
It is our goal that you, your family, and friends would participate in the National Day of Prayer. We pray that the event impacts your life, and that praying for our nation moves from a one-day event to a lifetime endeavor. So join us on the first Thursday in May and pray with conviction that God would continue to shed His grace on thee.