By Rochelle Conner - FDFCA Member “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. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” The first Thursday in May is the National Day of Prayer. From the 1800s to the present, presidents, governors, and elected officials have called on America to set aside a day to acknowledge God, repent of our national sins, and to pray for the nation. In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill into law proclaiming a National Day of Prayer. In 1988, President Reagan signed Public Law 100-307 designating the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer. In 1972, The National Prayer Committee was formed. And in 2005, the Congressional Prayer Caucus was born and dozens of members of Congress, standing on the Capitol steps, issued a formal call to the nation to “pray without ceasing” and for God to “heal our land.” Biblical accounts of praying to God for national help during times of distress can clearly been seen by Moses praying at the Red Sea, Jehoshaphat praying when facing the overwhelming armies of the Moabites and Ammonites, Hezekiah praying when Sennacherib, the king of Assyria laid siege against Jerusalem, Mordecai and Esther fasting and praying to save the Jewish people from the decree of Hamman, Nehemiah praying before undertaking the rebuilding of the walls, Jerusalem, and Nineveh repenting at the preaching of Jonah to the saving of the nation. In times of national calamity, Presidents have sought the providence and intervention of the God of heaven. George Washington prayed at Valley Forge when all hope seemed lost, Abraham Lincoln called the nation to prayer when facing the inevitability of the civil war.
President Roosevelt called the nation to prayer on D-Day, President Truman called for a day of prayer to thank God for the victory in Europe (V-E Day). President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander over the allied forces in Europe, who became the 34th President, on the night before his inauguration prayed for the nation. During his presidency, President Eisenhower signed into law the bill adding the words “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance; he established the National Prayer Breakfast; made “In God We Trust” the national motto; placed “In God We Trust” on paper currency and not just coinage, and a Congressional Prayer Room was established in the United States Capitol. He was truly a man who believed in the representing our godly heritage in our civil government. March 15, 2020, President Trump declared a national day of prayer in the midst of the global Covid19 crisis. He said “We are a Country that, throughout our history, has looked to God for protection and strength in times like these....
No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!" The global pandemic occurred during the time of Passover, President Trump and Bishop Harry Jackson offered a message of hope and a prayer for the nation. This prayer was no wimpy universal milk-toast generic god prayer. It was powerful and specific that the prayer was directed to Creator God and our Lord Jesus Christ. If there were any doubt to whom the prayer was made, all doubt was erased by Bishop Jackson’s closing in Jesus name.
A few excerpts from the President’s prayer included: “Though we will not be able to gather together with one another as we normally would on Easter, we can use this sacred time to focus on prayer, reflection and growing in our personal relationship with God – so important. I ask all Americans to pray that God will heal our nation, to bring comfort to those who are grieving, to give strength to the doctors, nurses, and health care workers, to restore health to the sick and to renew the hope in every person who is suffering. Our nation will come through like never before. As our nation battles the invisible enemy, we reaffirm that Americans believe in the power of prayer. We give thanks for the majesty of creation and for the gift of eternal life. And we place our trust in the hands of almighty God. I’d like to just wish everybody a very happy Easter.”1
The President thank everyone in our nation and beyond for praying for him, he said he could feel their prayers. As a nation we have moved so far away from the faith and belief in God. But in the midst of a global crisis, we can once again return to the place of all help and healing – on our knees in humble contrition before a holy God who is mighty to save. If we will repent and turn from the wickedness that has polluted and corrupted our nation, He will heal us. Hosea 6:1 declares He has torn, and he will heal; he hath smitten and he will bind us up. Looking back through history, the prayer of Abraham Lincoln remains as powerful today as it was when written. It is still merits praying today.
“Whereas it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the ruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that only those nations are blessed, whose God is the Lord…we know that by His divine law, nations like individuals are subjected to punishments and chastisements in this world…we have been the recipients of choicest bounties of Heaven, we have been preserved these many years…and have grown in numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, multiplied, enriched and strengthened us; we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.
Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us. It behooves us then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness…in sincerity and truth, let us rest humbly in the hope authorized by the Divine teachings, that the united cry of the Nation will be heard on high and answered with blessings, no less the pardon of our national sins and the restoration of our now divided and suffering Country to its former happy condition of unity and peace.” 1 https://video.foxnews.com/v/6148651724001#sp=show-clips