In his booklet “Awaken,” Chris Schofield tells how a prayer movement began in New York City in 1857 when one person began praying that God would bring people together to pray. On the first day of prayer one man knelt alone to pray, even though he had encouraged people to join him through distributing hundreds of handbills entitled “How often shall we pray?” However, his pleas to God were eventually rewarded because he persisted. Six people joined with him for prayer the first week, 20 the second week and in six months, 50,000 people were praying in the city. What came to be called the Layman’s Prayer Revival of 1857-1858 was used of God to revive the church. Spiritual darkness was pushed back as history records that millions were converted and over the next few years God’s church advanced in world missions.
The National Day of Prayer, which is observed every year on the first Thursday in May, began in 1952 as a way to invite people to pray for our nation. I am intentionally writing this column a few weeks early in my hope that individuals will be reminded to make plans for a special observance of this call to prayer for our nation on Thur., May 2.
Although you could pray alone, I urge you to begin now preparing for the National Day of Prayer by organizing a prayer gathering with other citizens. Pray with other church groups, community residents, co-workers or students at school, and also remember to pray with your family.
As directed in Matthew 9:38, ask God to prompt millions of believers to participate in this call to prayer for our nation. We should pray for our president, vice president, government leaders and others who are in crucial positions of leadership and influence, such as our teachers, business leaders, military personnel and media professionals.
Wake up America! Return to God because we are destined for moral ruin and spiritual destruction apart from a supernatural intervention by God that can alter our present course. We must pray for a spiritual awakening unlike anything we have ever seen in our nation.
Pray that the body of Christ will recognize and respond to the desperate spiritual condition within our fellowships.
Do not fail to recognize that we must see a spiritual revival occur within the church before we can expect to see radical changes within our nation resulting in a great spiritual harvest of the lost. God is waiting and willing to do great and wonderful things when His people begin to pray according to His requirements as stated in 2 Chronicles 7:14.
More information about the National Day of Prayer, as well as prayer guides and other resources, is available at www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
“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.” 2 Chronicles 7:14