On July 4, 2013, the National Day of Prayer Task Force will host its very first 5K – Walk, Run, Roll event in Pennsauken, NJ, just outside of Philadelphia. Indeed it is the season when we spend a great deal of time outdoors enjoying the beauty of the world around us that often goes overlooked in the busyness of our day. But this is not just another event. For those of you who enjoy the challenge of a good 3.1-mile run, you won’t be disappointed. This Pray for America 5K event will feature state-of-the-art race results, t-shirts, music and more but for the rest of us non-runners, this is going to be a special time of camaraderie as we unite in one-accord and in one voice to celebrate the work of prayer across our nation.
In the spirit of I Corinthians 9:24-27, we shall all run the race – and this is also in the everydayness of life – but we celebrate the fullness of I Timothy 4:8 that although exercise is good, we preserve in all godliness to do the “good work” (Eph 2:10) to which we have been called. So this is a race like non-other. Many other notable organizations put together walk and run type events regularly, but this is the first and only 5K event dedicated to prayer and the work of the prayer mobilizers from coast to coast. All are welcome! On this special day we will celebrate our Independence Day and cheer on the Pray for America Bus Tour team as they cross the finish line of the first route. Many of us will have been on the road for 35 days straight engaging, equipping and encouraging communities – speaking as many as 5x per day – leading up to this Pray for America 5K. So, the finish line will be momentous and exciting…and we want you there!
To learn more about this special event, sponsored by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, Joni and Friends, Turning Point Ministries with Dr. David Jeremiah, Harvest Crusades with Greg Laurie and Family Talk with Dr. James Dobson, then click here and get registered today. If you don’t plan to walk, roll or run during the race, then make plans to join us anyway for what is sure to be a special time of celebration with friends of family. See you in Philadelphia on July 4!
[button link="https://www.runtheday.com/registration/select_race_type/19067"]CLICK HERE TO REGISTER >>[/button]
[typography font="Cantarell" size="24" size_format="px"]"Pray that we will be able to weather the storm that I am almost certain will come – that we will not be required to put aside our Constitutional rights." - Rear Admiral William D. Lee[/typography] [hr]
Every year, the National Day of Prayer Task Force coordinates several events on Capital Hill including the National Observance at the Cannon House Office Building. With speakers like Chuck Swindoll, Oliver North, Max Lucado, Beth Moore, and Franklin Graham, the expectations are always high and the response is overwhelming. More than one hundred thousand people tune in live, via video stream, for what is sure to be a prayer event highlight reel as representatives from each branch of government, prominent ministries, and businesses share encouraging and convicting messages with ambassadors, delegates, and individuals from all walks of life in the historic Caucus Room – and the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer observance did not disappoint.
The morning began promptly at 9:00 a.m. eastern with the presentation of the colors by the Joint Armed Forces Color Guard and the National Anthem by the Brass Quintet. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, kicked off the momentous celebration with a warm greeting and introduction of both Rabbi Daniel Lapin and Rabbi Neal Surasky.
Rabbi Daniel Lapin took the podium first and blessed the occasion with eloquent words of personal evaluation as to how we view the exercise of prayer; “It is the entirety of the Bible that is the blueprint to goodness, decency, hope, optimism and faith. Prayer is not surrendering to the spasm of superstitious reflection, rather, prayer is asking God and supplicating to God.”
Rabbi Neal Surasky then put the Shofar to his lips and belted out what seemed to be the longest held note to echo throughout the halls of Congress in the history of our nation. At that moment, we knew the prayer event had begun.
...Our nation is under the care and providence of Almighty God and has confidence that He will guide the course of our nation..." - Father Jerome Magat
The line-up of speakers that followed were second to none with each building on the other and driving the message that prayer is the only hope for America. With the opening prayer from Father Magat, who stated that “our nation is under the care and providence of Almighty God and has confidence that He will guide the course of our nation”, to the powerful words of Barry Black, chaplain of the Senate, who urged people to stop praying for just themselves and to start praying for their leaders, even if they disagree with their politics. "Let us stop praying only for ourselves, adding that “Godliness is a national security issue." Indeed, the National Observance was not one to miss.
Judge David Gustafson, who represented the Judicial Branch, sought prayer for all those serving in this vital role, "Please pray that God will give us wisdom beyond our wisdom." Both Representative Robert Aderholt (AL) and Representative Frank Wolf (VA) took the stage and reminded the nation that there are still congressmen who pray and do so with great expectation that God will direct the affairs of the nation. Wolf then quoted de Tocqueville with these words, “I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers - and it was not there . . . in her fertile fields and boundless forests and it was not there . . . in her rich mines and her vast world commerce - and it was not there . . . in her democratic Congress and her matchless Constitution - and it was not there. Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.”
Pat Boone, an original member of the National Day of Prayer Task Force in 1988, reminded us that America's founding fathers embraced religious practice and Christianity. “Benjamin Franklin called for a daily sermon before Congress began deliberations. John Jay, a member of the Supreme Court, said that Christians were preferred for government positions.” He then quoted Proverbs 21:1 which says, "In the Lord’s hand the king's heart is a stream of water that he channels toward all who please him.” Then added these words, "Heaven is waiting for our decisions and our petitions."
...With God nothing is impossible and God can turn America around.” - Pastor Greg Laurie, 2013 Honorary Chairman
This led up to the message by the Honorary Chairman, Greg Laurie, who said, “With God nothing is impossible and God can turn America around.” After his powerful words of affirmation, hope and inspiration, he closed with the reading of the national prayer.
Finally, it was Rear Admiral William D. Lee who ended the 3-hour event with five, yes 5, standing ovations. He gave a desperate appeal for prayer asking all to lift up the armed forces at such a critical time in our nation’s history. “Pray that we will be able to weather the storm that I am almost certain will come – that we will not be required to put aside our Constitutional rights,” he said. General Jerry Boykin issued the following statement after hearing the passionate and courageous message; "Rear Admiral William Lee demonstrated real courage yesterday when he spoke at the National Day of Prayer event in the nation's capital. I have seen courage manifested in many ways, including the ultimate sacrifice of one's life for one's country, but this type of moral courage is becoming more and more rare...You want a real hero? Just look no further than Rear Admiral William D Lee.”
If you missed it, then listen now to the 2013 National Observance:
A great friend of our ministry, Joni Eareckson Tada (2011 Honorary Chairman and Founder of Joni and Friends), wants to encourage YOU to pray for our nation.
To learn more about Joni and Friends, and the incredible work they are doing, you can visit their website at http://www.joniandfriends.org
By the President of the United States of America
Americans have long turned to prayer both in times of joy and times of sorrow. On their voyage to the New World, the earliest settlers prayed that they would "rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work." From that day forward, Americans have prayed as a means of uniting, guiding, and healing. In times of hardship and tragedy, and in periods of peace and prosperity, prayer has provided reassurance, sustenance, and affirmation of common purpose.
Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving families and a suffering community that they are not alone. Their pain is a shared pain, and their hope a shared hope. Regardless of religion or creed, Americans reflect on the sacredness of life and express their sympathy for the wounded, offering comfort and holding up a light in an hour of darkness.
All of us have the freedom to pray and exercise our faiths openly. Our laws protect these God-given liberties, and rightly so. Today and every day, prayers will be offered in houses of worship, at community gatherings, in our homes, and in neighborhoods all across our country. Let us give thanks for the freedom to practice our faith as we see fit, whether individually or in fellowship.
On this day, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by recent events, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the explosion in West, Texas. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm's way to protect their fellow Americans. Let us also pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their families who serve and sacrifice for our country. Let us come together to pray for peace and goodwill today and in the days ahead as we work to meet the great challenges of our time.
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 2, 2013, as a National Day of Prayer. I join the citizens of our Nation in giving thanks, in accordance with our own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and in asking for God's continued guidance, mercy, and protection.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. - II Chronicles 7:14 [hr]
We can never see into the future to know how God will work. This was the case about seven years ago as Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday (Easter) approached. In God’s providence, I got an email sharing about Christian pilots flying pastors and people who wanted to pray in the state of Ohio over that upcoming celebration. This recently formed group were calling themselves ‘PrayerFlight’.
Well if you work with National Day of Prayer, your immediate prompting might be like mine was: “Wow, would they fly in prayer on the First Thursday of May too? Could this be done in additional states?” I called Michael Harnishfeger, one of PrayerFlight’s founders and pilot from the email correspondence. He seemed interested right away. He checked with the board. Their mission expanded quickly to include the annual National Day of Prayer. Now seven years later, due to the working of God Almighty, our airwaves are blanketed in prayer over every state capitol, comprising our nation as a whole. God can surely move mightily! Praise God with us through the following from Michael of PrayerFlight:
PrayerFlight is pleased to announce 100% coverage for our "50 Capitals" National Day of Prayer - PrayerFlight.
As we like to say, from Hawaii to New York, from Alaska to Florida, Texas to North Dakota and California to South Carolina - on May 2, 2013 pilots and prayer warriors in every state will be uniting in flight, in prayer for our country. It is with great humility that we find ourselves in service to the King of Kings and we are grateful for His Blessings on this mission.
With only two weeks to go, we are well on our way to making this a banner year. Many of our states have pledged multiple airplanes and in Ohio, we are planning on 20 to 25 airplanes gathered for a time of fellowship, prayer and flight. We ask that you continue to reach out to pilots in your state and encourage them to register for this exciting mission by following the link below.
This is an exciting time and we are thankful for our partners from around the nation who have committed to this critically important mission.
More than any time before, our nation needs prayer. As our Mission Verse proclaims, we depend on God to heal our land for in fact there is no other way.
Thank you to all who have prayed, called and committed to PrayerFlight - we look forward to wheels up on May 2nd.
As time approaches we will keep our partners informed on the final number of pilots flying on our National Day of Prayer.
God has continued to work expanding this ‘prayer in the air’. Reports each year from participants have reflected that this aerial view of schools to workplaces, transportation routes to churches, military bases to capitols, neighborhoods and more provided heightened awareness of the array of needs in each place. When I flew with Colorado Prayer Flight several years ago, I felt the Lord directing our prayers as we flew over our capitol, the Denver Mint, downtown metro skyline, universities and then back over rural lands of ranches, forests and fields. Elevation can help bridge the gap between our micro view and God’s complete perspective.
Please join us in giving thanks to our Lord for His creative help to call this nation to pray through the avenue of flight and numerous other venues. For more information on PrayerFlight and how you might get involved, visit their website at http://www.prayerflight.org/
To find a prayer event near you or post an event, please visit visit http://nationaldayofprayer.org/events/
[typography font="Cantarell" size="16" size_format="px"]"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:6-7[/typography] [hr]
PRAY - Check out the music video below...
We wrote the song Pray because these are anxious times. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been on the edge of my seat, watching and waiting as tensions rise and markets fall. The 2012 election has left me acutely aware of the fact that we are a nation divided, fragile and in dyer need of true hope. From my television screen to my twitter feed, I’m confronted with a minute-by-minute timeline of the latest news from around the world. The awareness that we’re just one thumb tap away from another shocking headline can be stressful. What will come next? We wonder if North Korea will launch a nuclear missile, if another homemade bomb in a backpack will be detonated at a public gathering, or if the mild-mannered kid next door will carry out another mass murder.
Sometimes it’s not world news that leaves me anxious, but parts of my own little world that seem to be falling apart. The pressure of holding it all together is daunting when I get to thinking it’s on my own shoulders. Sometimes I find myself tossing my hands up in the air and asking in an exasperated tone, “What in the world is going on?”
In those moments I have to remind myself of what’s behind our personal life challenges and the world’s headlines, the fist of a dictator and the face of a politician, the cape of a hero and the mask of a villain. In every conflict, no matter where we live or which side we’re on, behind every struggle is what the Apostle Paul described in his letter to the Ephesians.
For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” - Ephesians 6:12
Paul doesn’t leave us to wonder how we should view our struggles or what actions we should take. He tells the Ephesians to stand firm on truth, righteousness, salvation and the word of God. He ends by making an earnest appeal that we see him make over and over again in his letters to Christian men and women. He teaches them, and us, to pray; and not just every so often or when we’re in distress, but to pray “at all times” in Ephesians 6:18. Again, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, he writes that we should “pray without ceasing.”
These are indeed anxious times, and heaven and earth are at war. Every public headline and personal challenge is a reminder, as well as a call, not to lift our hands in despair, but rather to continue lifting our hands and voices in prayer.
Will you answer the call?
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[typography font="Cantarell" size="18" size_format="px"]And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt? - Matt. 14:29-31[/typography] [hr]
Greetings from the National Day of Prayer Task Force, we have been praying for you! Yes, you! If you are reading this message we have been praying for you. If you are one of the thousands of people that God has called to coordinate or attend a National Day of Prayer event on May 2, we have been praying for you. Our office has been in perpetual motion with phone calls, proclamations, reports and event postings in an effort to finalize all that needs to happen in the next two weeks. If you are planning a prayer event, we know that you are busy trying to promote and plan the final pieces. This last couple of weeks can be very stressful as prayer warriors across America battle to culminate and celebrate the year-round prayers lifted up on behalf of our nation. I pray that the following devotional encourages and energizes you as God equips and prepares us for the National Day of Prayer:
If you have ever had to put together a school play or musical, you know this is an incredible task. There are sets to build, costumes to sew, parts to assign, lighting, months of practice and dress rehearsals, before the curtain is raised for opening night. As the date for our school musical drew near, it seemed to the untrained eye that the choir would not be ready in time. But to our choir director, Karen, all was on track. Karen had been strongly encouraged by parents and administration to postpone the musical so that there could be more time to rehearse, but as the director, she calmly refused to postpone, insisting that she was confident in her scheduling.
Karen shared with me that the date was set so that the choir would know the words, know their parts, and know the songs well enough to get through the play as long as they kept their eyes on her. More practice might make them too self-confident and then they would not watch her for direction the night of the play. �
God, our Heavenly Conductor, has set the dates for every opportunity we are given to serve Him. Heaven eagerly awaits the chorus of prayers that will be lifted up on May 2nd. He has prepared us along the way for just the right day. We may think we are not ready; we are distracted by the winds of discouragement and waves of fear. We may even find ourselves begging for more time, more training, or more resources. Take courage! God always carries us to a specific place, for a specific service, fully equipped to do the job as long as we keep our eyes on Him.
Keep your eyes on Him and remember that He never takes His eyes off of you. If He called you to it, He will walk (on water) with you through it! To God be the Glory!
Can you remember a time where you really questioned God? If you are honest with yourself then I suspect I am not alone on this, although, personally, I’m not proud to admit the struggle. For me, it was a time early in prayer ministry. I was in a 12-hour prayer meeting in Alabama, participating with thousands of spiritually hungry young people and seasoned prayer warriors.
My prayer to the Lord began with an overwhelming since of inadequacy. The following words echoed through my mind, “I can’t believe You have me here in this place with these of such spiritual depth. Who am I? I am from a small, one high school town in Texas. I didn’t go to seminary. I don’t have a degree in Theology and here I sit with such giants in faith. I am so ordinary. “ I felt like a toddler among adults.
I was thinking all this from the additional perspective of my role with the National Day of Prayer Task Force. A daily part of my work then, and now, includes supporting the volunteer coordinator network across the nation. I have the privilege of working with our national area leaders, thousands of devoted volunteers and international ministry prayer leaders. So, I found myself questioning my Lord. How could He use “ordinary me” with the likes of these zealots? The setting was a large convention center space with row upon row of chairs of people agreeing in prayer. In the midst of this brief internal evaluation, riddled with self-doubt, I felt a stiff breeze and looked up. It felt like the convention center doors had burst open sending a gush of wind inside. However everyone else was still bowed in intercession, unaffected.
Then the Lord had my full attention for His contribution to this prayer. By His Spirit, I listened: “I DON’T DO ORDINARY”. With such clear and simple words surfaced deep instruction that still teaches me today. As I mediated more, God showed me that He is my Creator. Very simply stated, He taught me that He, as Lord God, just cannot make anything ordinary. Ordinary is not a word to associate with Him or His creation as we are made in His image.
This is all about His majesty and compete sovereignty; nothing that we do on our own. It is all about His plan for you and me.
Do you wonder what more He has for you? Ask Him. He delights to work through our weakness if we are in humble submission to His absolute holiness and divine nature. Through your extraordinary prayer life with the living God through Jesus our Lord, be assured you are living the life He wants for you. It will be one that bears fruit beyond your human capacity - beyond your days here on earth.
Here at the National Day of Prayer Task Force, there is plenty of room for you. The nation needs those who will participate in prayer observances on May 2nd; which is coming up quickly. Certainly, in our hope to see every county in America bathed in prayer, we need more who will step forward to plan and host these prayer gatherings. So, I am challenging you now to learn how you make a difference. Click the ‘volunteer’ link on the main menu of our website to get involved, helping your state coordinator mobilize prayer near you.
Additionally, consider joining the National Day of Prayer hosted prayer call, any night of the year, from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. CDT, (be sure to adjust for your time zone). Simply call our free conference line (uses minutes if you have a limited plan), 712-432-0075, and enter the access code: 4961322#. This is a wonderful way to connect with intercessors from across the country and experience prayer with praise, repentance and yielding to our Lord God. Then, on the First Thursday of each month this call concentrates on a national focus, based on our theme, Pray for America.
As you determine how you can get involved, please prayerfully consider lending your financial support as well, to help us continue to call this nation to prayer. No gift is too small.
Prayer moves on God’s willingness. Only He can heal this land and by His extraordinary design He moves through our earnest prayers. So, are you ordinary? No, remember, He doesn’t do ordinary! We are made by the one and only Almighty God who loves beyond imagination. As you go to Him today in prayer, listen and wait in expectation for His specific answers. They will not be ordinary.
[hr] So if you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God. - Matthew 5:23-24
An unforgiving Christian is an oxymoron. If you are a Christian, then you must forgive, because forgiven people are forgiving people. Therefore, you cannot be an unforgiving Christian. And if you want your prayers to be answered in the affirmative, then you must forgive others. Jesus gave this command: "If you are presenting a sacrifice at the altar in the Temple and you suddenly remember that someone has something against you, leave your sacrifice there at the altar. Go and be reconciled to that person. Then come and offer your sacrifice to God" (Matthew 5:23–24).
Jesus also taught us to pray, "And forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us . . . (Luke 11:4). We need to learn to forgive, because we are all flawed. We will sin against people, and people will sin against us. Husbands will offend their wives, and wives will offend their husbands. Parents will offend their children, and children will offend their parents. Family members will offend one another. Friends will offend one another. So we must choose to forgive. We must determine not to let those offenses keep us from communion and fellowship with God.
It may be that someone has really hurt you. You may even have every right to be angry and bitter. But do you know who gets hurt the most when you harbor anger and hostility and vengeful thoughts toward someone? You do. And not only that, you are cutting yourself off from fellowship with God. Ephesians 4:32 tells us to "be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another. . . ."
When God forgave you, did you deserve to be forgiven? Does the person who hurt you deserve to be forgiven? Forgive anyway. Based on God's love and grace, we should forgive.