Spiritual Growth and Christian Living Resources

A Prayer Guide for National Day of Prayer 2020

  • Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk Editorial Staff
  • 2020 7 May
  • COMMENTS
A Prayer Guide for National Day of Prayer 2020

This year, the National Day of Prayer will be on Thursday, May 7th, 2020. 

According to nationaldayofprayer.org, "The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning."

This year's National Day of Prayer takes on new meaning with the pandemic that has swept the world. With fear rising along with the cases of COVID-19, these leaders need prayer more than ever. These leaders are doing what they can to not only continue serving, but also combat COVID-19.  If Elijah can pray that it would not rain for three years, we can pray to strengthen our world leaders (James 5:16-18). We can pray to end this pandemic. We can pray to end fear. We can pray our world leaders would be given wisdom, protection, and effective leadership during this time.

THROUGH THIS PRAYER GUIDE, you will be guided through some sample prayers for our leaders, our nation, and our neighbors. The coronavirus is claiming lives, job loss, and causing widespread fear and anxiety. On this National Day of Prayer 2020, let's take these concerns to God together and petition His throne on behalf of our brothers and sisters. You will have an opportunity to petition God on behalf of our leaders and those who are in authority over us, as we are instructed to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. As you humbly come before the Lord and seek His face, please pray that these men and women will be granted divine wisdom, guidance, and strength to fulfill their important roles.

If you're wondering how exactly to pray for the United States, your state, city and church, you aren't alone. Observing the National Day of Prayer may seem a little overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Start with the following Scriptures and list of topics as inspiration for prayer and see where your hearts leads you. 

Bible Verses to Reflect on for the 2020 National Day of Prayer

If My people, who are called by My name, will 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

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people He chose for His inheritance (v. 12).  ~ Psalm 33:12-22

I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them. ~ Matthew 18:19-20

Then Jesus told His disciples...that they should always pray and not give up. ~ Luke 18:1

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone-for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. ~ 1 Timothy 2:1-4

A Prayer for Steadfast Leaders

Father God, everyone who is in a position of serving others can easily feel overwhelmed with burdens and events happening in their country and worldwide. Strengthen each leader with resolve to do what is best for their country.

Lord, please cause each leader to be steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in Your work. May they not be distracted, discouraged or doubtful with the headlines or news about the virus. May they be a beacon and a voice of peace, reason, and hope to nations in despair.

Grant them the tenacity to take great pains to maintain the path You have cleared for them. Protect their positions in You. Direct each leader to draw near to Your throne of grace with confidence for their every need. Amen.

A Prayer for Leaders to Heed God's Wisdom

Father God, we thank You that when we are in need, we can come to You. Your word reminds us Your powerful hands hold our lives and our world leaders who have you set up. Because they are in positions of leadership, they are more vulnerable to the enemy.

Let no plan of the enemy stand in their lives. Whatever has risen against them be thwarted.

Give each leader Your wisdom, discernment, and guidance as they lead the world through this pandemic. James 1:5 tells us that if you ask for wisdom, God will give it generously without finding fault: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”

I pray that world leaders would seek after wisdom and justice, mercy and truth, freedom, godly grace and a desire to know You more and more. I pray that those that are deliberately opposing Your will would find that their plans and purposes would be exposed and become ineffective. Amen.  (excerpt from Prayers for World Leaders During COVID-19, Heather Riggleman)

A Prayer for Those Who Are Ill with Coronavirus

Father God, You are the ultimate Healer. Father, we come before You to pray for those infected with this virus. We pray for not only their healing but for them to be comforted while they heal. Lord, please eradicate every ounce of this virus from their bodies. Please heal every cell in their bodies, every infected part of their being. We pray for no lasting effects in their bodies from this illness. Father, please heal them inside and out and provide them with the medical care they need, with the medications they need, and with the healing not only physically but spiritually so that they may live life and life abundantly ahead.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

A Prayer for Those Treating the Sick

Father,  We come to pray for those who are caring for the sick. It takes a kind and selfless heart to care for those who are sick, and so Father we pray for them. We pray that You would be their source of rest, their source of replenishment when weary, and their source of hope in such overwhelming times. Lord we know in Luke 6:38 that whosoever pours out shall be given back in proportion, so we pray blessings upon these caregivers. We also pray for their health that they may not fall ill. Father protect them with a hedge of protection against the germs of coronavirus and help those who are giving to be protected as they nurse others back to health.  Bless them, oh Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen (excerpt from Prayers for Coronavirus - for Those Sick & Those Worried, Cally Logan)

A Prayer for Those Facing Job Loss

Lord, you are the God who Provides. Help me to trust in you as I look for new work. Lead me to the right job. Help me to be patient in the waiting. I know it’s in the waiting where you do your greatest work in my heart. I will rest in your goodness. Help me to be steady and strong for my family yet help me remember to be honest about my fears and how I am putting my trust in you.

Help me as I seek to find, apply, and interview for each position. I trust you will close the doors that need to be closed and open the doors that need to be opened. Let this uncertainty be a chance to strengthen my faith in you. Let this job loss be the opportunity for you to re-arrange my life for the better. Let it be a chance to pursue you more. Lord, I ask for more than a wage, let it be a job where your light will shine through me.

Lead me to a position where I will feel valued, respected and part of a team. Please watch over me and my family in this time of waiting. Though times are uncertain, remind us to be generous. Help us share what we have and support each other the best way we can. Help me to be confident in knowing your will. Amen. (exerpt from Uplifting Prayers in the Face of Job Loss and Financial Crisis Due to COVID-19, Heather Riggleman)

The Family

For blessings and prosperity, ask God to help families:

  • Commit to the permanence of marriage
  • Serve one another in love
  • Be dedicated to each other
  • Restore broken relationships

Personal Renewal and Moral Awakening

For our reverence and humility, ask God to help us:

  • Confess our sins
  • Seek His direction
  • Rely on Him instead of ourselves

Pray for Federal Leaders - 2020

  • President: Donald Trump
  • Vice President: Mike Pence
  • Secretary of State: Michael R. Pompeo
  • Secretary of Defense: Patrick M. Shanahan
  • Secretary of the Treasury: Steven Mnuchin
  • Attorney General: William Barr
  • Secretary of the Interior: David Bernhardt
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Sonny Perdue
  • Secretary of Commerce: Wilbur Ross
  • Secretary of Labor: Rene Alexander Acosta
  • Secretary of Transportation: Elaine L. Chao
  • Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry
  • Secretary of Education: Betsy DeVos
  • Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Robert Wilkie
  • Secretary of Health & Human Services: Alex M. Azar II
  • Secretary of Housing & Urban Development: Ben Carson
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Kirstjen Nielsen
  • All Branches of the Armed Forces and U.S. Supreme Court

Pray for State Leaders

  • U.S. Senator
  • U.S. Representative
  • Governor
  • Lt. Governor
  • State Senator
  • State Representative
  • State Supreme Court Justices

Pray for Local Leaders

  • County Officials
  • Court Official
  • City Officials
  • Judges
  • Mayor
  • Police Department
  • Fire Department
  • School Authorities (public & private)

Pray for Our Troops

Pray for their safety, their diligence, and that many will turn to God in faith.

Churches and Ministry Organizations

For their courage and strength in this time, ask God to help them:

  • Stand strong in their convictions
  • Be bold in their witness
  • Meet America's spiritual needs
  • Be a place of hope and healing

The Imprisoned and Persecuted

For their protection and unity, ask God to help them:

  • Endure their hardships
  • Find joy in the midst of trials
  • Encourage one another
  • Find comfort in their faith

Mass Media, Cultural and Social Services

For their wisdom and knowledge, ask God to help them:

  • Reflect godly values in their work
  • Be accurate and fair in their presentations
  • Place a high value on truth and decency
  • Be responsible with their influence

Why Pray?

We need to pray because the Bible commands us to (Matthew 6:5; Romans 12:12; 1 Thess 5:17). Prayer is how we communicate with God and participate in His works. It grants us the privilege of experiencing God, keeps us humble before Him, strengthens the bonds between believers and can succeed where other means have failed.

Why Pray For Our Nation?

God answers the prayers of His people, and in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He specifically emphasizes the importance of praying for our nation. Ask the Lord to bring about spiritual renewal across America. Pray that people will turn to Him and seek His will for our land.

Why Pray For Our Leaders?

The Bible instructs us to pray for "all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). Pray that our leaders will seek God and endeavor to serve Him in a manner that is worthy of their positions of influence.

Why Pray For Our Communities?

Intercessory prayer has the power to change the place where you live. It is time that we took back our communities for the sake of God's Kingdom and covered them with our humble petitions. Pray for your own city or town, asking God to bless your efforts to reclaim your neighborhood in His name.

Why Pray For Our Families?

God designed the family to be a place of love, support, spiritual growth, and, of course, prayer. Now is the time to pray for this holy institution, which is currently under attack in our country. Ask the Lord to bring peace, guidance and healing to families that are struggling every day.

Why Pray For Our Youth?

The youth of today will grow up to lead Twenty-first-century America. Each day conflicting moral standards, violence, and the latest media scandals bombard them. In the midst of this turmoil, God is raising up an army of young people. Ask the Lord to make them bold and steadfast in their faith.  

For more ideas on prayer, visit nationaldayofprayer.org or presidentialprayerteam.org




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