Finding Mercy and Grace in Our Time of Need
- John Lind President/CEO, The Presidential Prayer Team
- 2005 4 May
Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may
receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:16 NIV
As Christians look toward the National Day of Prayer on May 5, many will wonder if they can fit it into their busy schedules. If ever America was in a time of need, that time is now. Prayer for our nation should be the first entry on your daily to do list.
Jim Weidmann, Vice-Chairperson for The National Day of Prayer Task Force, recently wrote on The Presidential Prayer Team website, “As I travel across America, I see the concern in family after family and church after church regarding the direction America is heading. We are a country where evil has become good and good has become evil; yet through the prayers of millions of people we have seen Godly men and women elected to high positions in our government, positions that have the opportunity and authority to right our moral compass and return the nation to a culture of life and the values it was founded upon.”
The National Day of Prayer became official in 1988, when a presidential proclamation set aside the first Thursday of May every year for prayer. But America’s national culture of prayer predates the country itself.
George Washington was the first to call for a day of prayer and fasting as he led the Revolution. Our governing document owes its existence to prayer – a potentially fatal stalemate ended almost immediately after Benjamin Franklin convinced delegates to begin each session of a Constitutional Convention with prayer.
President Washington prayed for the country in his inaugural address, President Lincoln asked all Americans to pray for an end to the Civil War, President Roosevelt prayed during a radio address announcing the largest military action in history during WWII and President Truman responded to a request from Congress for a formal day of prayer.
President Bush said in his 2005 National Day of Prayer Proclamation that “The National Day of Prayer encourages Americans of every faith to give thanks for God's many blessings and to pray for each other and our Nation.”
In a poll in the National Day of Prayer issue of The Presidential Prayer Team’s website, more than 40% of the respondents said they would observe the day privately, in their own homes. Whether you participate alone or in a community celebration, your prayers will make a difference in our nation’s future.
But your commitment to prayer needs to endure all year long. Here are some things you can do.
Pray Daily for Your Children: They Represent Our Future
“Praying for our children doesn’t mean that nothing will ever go wrong in their lives,” said Stormie Omartian, author of several books on prayer. “But when it does, we don’t have to beat ourselves up for not being perfect parents. Besides, it’s not being a perfect parent that makes the difference in a child’s life, for there are no perfect parents. It’s being a praying parent that makes a big difference. And that’s something we can all be.”
Create a Culture of Prayer in Your Church or Group
A ‘‘culture of prayer’’ means that prayer is the first and last thing you do, rather than a tag or an afterthought. This culture can involve everything from a Prayer Pals program to an Internet prayer chain to special gatherings weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual prayer.
Pray for Leaders As Prescribed in 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Musician John Tesh likens the need to pray for the president and other leaders to the responsibility he has to pray for his pastor—as a weapon in a spiritual battle. The more outspoken a leader is about his faith, he believes, the greater the need for prayer.
"Our feeling is when you step out and make it known that you are taking a stand for God, immediately the enemy is going to try and take you out," he says, his voice ringing with a tell-tale note of experience. "We're always praying for protection and covering. I know that's what President Bush needs as well."
Adopt Our Troops: They’re Securing Your Freedom
Whether or not you agree with the present military action, men and women in the military are in harms way. They are securing your freedom. As a thank you, why not pray daily for their safety?
One father whose son was adopted for prayer through The Presidential Prayer Team website recently wrote, “[After] Dave returned home, he spoke of the many times that he knew God was protecting him because of the prayers being offered on his behalf. He injured his knee in Iraq and had to have knee surgery. He will most likely be returning to Iraq later this year. Please continue to pray for him and his family.”
In my own work with The Presidential Prayer Team, I talk with many people who have been blessed beyond their greatest expectations because they chose to set aside daily time to pray for our nation and its leaders.
I pray those same blessings on you.
Important Prayer Websites
National Day of Prayer: www.nationaldayofprayer.org
The Presidential Prayer Team: www.presidentialprayerteam.org
Mission America and the Lighthouse Movement: www.missionamerica.org
How to Know God: www.needhim.org
John Lind has been the president and CEO of the Presidential Prayer Team (PPT) since 2002. The Presidential Prayer Team's purpose is to encourage and motivate people to pray daily for the president of the United States, his cabinet, and America as a nation.