Today is the National Day of Prayer.
In the Bible, prayer is mentioned over and over and over again. Why? Because it's powerful. It's one of the ways that we communicate with God, offer up our praises, present our broken spirits and wait with hope, for the needs that we have.
Psalm 63:4 -- I will praise you as long as I live, lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
We see stories in the Bible where people pour out their hearts to God. We see their deepest desires, and the depths of their hearts. David, whom we know from the Bible, became the second king of Israel. He is known for having written most of the book of Psalms, but even more than that, King David was known for being a great warrior of prayer. As I think about his life and the kind of person that he was, reading the prayers that he prayed to the one true God, I'm overflowed with joy knowing that we pray to a God who hears us. He knows each one of us, and He knows the honest cries of our hearts.
Job 11:13 -- If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to him in prayer!
Here in the United States, we are told that have freedom. But what kind of freedom can man truly offer us? None! God, the Creator of heaven and earth, has given us true freedom.
We watch the news and hear about people being persecuted for their faith, being martyred for praying to a God that others don't believe in.
James 5:13 -- Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises.
Psalm 116:1 -- I love the Lord because he hears my voice and my prayer for mercy.
How do you think of prayer? Is it something you feel obligated to do? Is it something that you have to think about doing? Or do you thirst for God, waiting to be quenched by Him?
Psalm 143:6 -- I lift my hands to you in prayer. I thirst for you as parched land thirsts for rain.
Maybe you don't know what to pray for. I know that at times, that is exactly how I feel. I think that if I'm praying for something personal, then maybe God doesn't want to hear it. But that is backwards thinking! God wants to hear everything we have to say. Yes, it's true that He gives us the things that we need, not necessarily everything that we want, but that's because He knows what is good for us. He wants what is best for every one of us :)
Matthew 6:5 -- When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.
Jesus offers us this prayer. Matthew 6:9-13:
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may Your name be kept holy. May Your Kingdom come soon. May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
Today with it being the National Day of prayer, here are some things that you can pray for:
1. Those closest to you. Your friends, family, neighbors, church members, co-workers, etc. Pray for their protection, their salvation (if they aren't saved), and their walk with God.
Philippians 1:3 -- Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God.
2. Those who instruct, teach, and heal. Pray for the teachers throughout the nation, as well as teachers in the nations around the world. Pray for the doctors throughout the world who are helping the sick, weak and hurt.
Psalm 6:9 -- The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.
Psalm 120:1 -- I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.
3. The leaders. Pray for our leaders of the United States, as well as the leaders of other nations around the world.
2 Chronicles 7:14 -- Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
4. Those who are weak, in trouble, hurt and in need of God's mercy. Pray that they would feel God's protection and love around them. Also pray for the protection of missionaries around the world. Many of them have given their lives for the Good News. Many are living in dangerous territories, or dealing with conflicts of religion.
Romans 1:9 -- God knows how often I pray for you. Day and night I bring you and your needs in prayer to God, whom I serve with all my heart by spreading the Good News about his Son.
Psalm 17:1 -- O Lord, hear my plea for justice. Listen to my cry for help. Pay attention to my prayer, for it comes from honest lips.
5. Yourself. It's important to remember yourself. Thank God for the things that He has given to you, and thank Him for the things that He has done for you. Pray for your own courage, strength and faith. Pray that God would protect you during these end times. Pray that God would reveal His plan for your life, and that He would lead you down the path of righteousness.
Habakkuk 3:19 -- The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
Pray to God. He will hear you. Also remember, don't let today be the one time that you pray. Yes, it's important to all join together and pray, and I'm so thankful for days like this, but prayer should be constant. It could be a few words, or a cry. Prayer isn't something that should be rehearsed, or done out of routine. Let your words to God be a song of praise. His giving won't ever come to an end :)
All you have to do is ask.
Matthew 7:7 -- Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.