National Day of Prayer 2008: America's Strength & Shield
- Rebecca Hagelin The Heritage Foundation
- 2008 1 May
May 1, 2008
What do inmates at 166 federal prisons; an estimated 40,000 groups of various sizes meeting around the country in places like Mount Rushmore, chuches and state capitols; and a gathering in the United States Congress have in common today?
They are praying for our nation. And the God of the Universe will hear equally the prayers of every one of them as they seek his face with humble hearts. What an amazing, wonderful loving God. He is no respector pf persons and is not impressed by status. One only need bow their hearts and seek His face in order to be heard.
Every president since George Washington has recognized the need for our great country to collectively call on God for his wisdom, his blessings and his protection. It is a day in which we should lift our voices in unision in thanks to the One who gave us our freedom, lives and countless blessings.
This year marks the 20th annivesary that a consistent day - the first Thursday in May - was set aside for national prayer by President Ronald Reagan. Asked by Vonette Bright (then Chairman of The National Day of Prayer) to designate a specific date, President Reagan boldly set forth the bill, which was passed with vast bipartisan support and signed into law on May 5, 1988 in a record two weeks from start to finish.
This year's theme is "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield" and is based on Psalms 28: "The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped." Never was there more timely a reminder.
As our nation's brave armed forces fight for freedom and justice around the world; as Americans search their hearts to select a new president and other elected officials; as parents strive to fight a toxic culture; as men and women work to make a better future for the next generation; let us remember that it is prayer that will touch the heart of God and turn his favor and protection toward us.
The lovely Shirley Dobson has chaired the effort to organize the nation for some sixteen years. Author of, "Peace in Uncertain Times", Mrs. Dobson is a passionate voice for Truth. She wisely and faithfully works to remind us that, "The shields of the earth belong to the Lord. He is ultimately our provider and protector. My hope and personal prayer is that the people all across this country will pray for a spiritual revival in America."
Ravi Zacharias, Honorary Chairman of this year's event and noted theologian, drafted a suggested prayer for those who might wish to jointly petition God for that personal and national revival we so desparately need:
" Holy Father,
In a world where so many are hungry,
You have given us food in abundance;
In a world where so many are hurting,
You offer to bind up our wounds;
In a world where so many are lonely,
You offer friendship to every heart;
In a world longing for peace,
You offer hope.
Yet, we are so stubborn and resistant. Have mercy upon us, Lord.
Our nation is at a crossroads this year; We look to you to be our strength and shield.
Please give us the guidance to elect one who will honor you and to respond to the wisdom from above so that our hope may be renewed and our blessings be treasured.
In God's holy name."
Please take a few minutes sometime today to take to your knees, find a private moment at your desk, or slip away to a quiet hallway and pray for our nation. If you are a prayer warrior, take someone with you and teach them the power, necessity and blessings of prayer. If you are not accustomed to prayer, now is your time. It will change your life. Salvation and revival happen one person at a time. Won't you call on the Lord to begin with you?
Rebecca Hagelin, a vice president at The Heritage Foundation, is the author of "Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad " and runs the Web site HomeInvasion.org.