“At this time of economic downturn, terrorist threats, and relentless assaults upon foundational biblical principles, it’s heartenting to reflect that we serve a God who has repeatedly shown himself ‘mighty to save’ in the lives of those who trust in him,” said Shirley Dobson, Chariman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which organizes the effort.
Last year, tens of thousands of prayer gatherings were held nationwide in churches, schools, businesses, prisons and government buildings and monuments. Additionally, “day of prayer” declarations were made by the president and the governors of all 50 states.
NDP organizers encourage people to attend an event in their local area on Thursday. A directory of events is available on the NDP Web site (www.nationaldayofprayer.org). In addition, a national observance in Washington, D.C. will be broadcast live on GOD TV and on the NDP Web site from 9 a.m. to noon EDT. Speakers will include James and Shirley Dobson, author and speaker Beth Moore, and former National Football League MVP Shaun Alexander. A Hollywood-themed prayer event will be webcast later from Bel Air Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles from 7:30-9:30 p.m. PDT.
Brian Toon, vice chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, encourages people to participate wherever they are. “Many workplaces and schools are holding events,” he said. “We know of several hundred. If that is unavailable, I would encourage you to take your lunch break and join us in prayer.
“The purpose (of the NDP) is to lift our nation’s leaders and their families in prayer,” Toon added. “We need to take ‘offensive prayer’ and take authority over our nation before the next crisis. Too often, Christians go from crisis to crisis in a defensive prayer reacting to each situation as it pops up. We need to pray for our nation’s leaders and their families, that they seek God before they make a decision, that they follow His will and act as men and women of integrity and righteousness.”
Toon said that the National Day of Prayer effort is meant to highlight the need for intercessory prayer every day not just one day out of the year.
“We want to encourage Americans to pray because when they pray and read their Bibles they deepen their relationship with God and act in the way He wants us to,” he said. “The result is better followers of God and better citizens of our nation. The day serves to highlight the need for intercessory prayer every day for our nation’s leaders and their families. Too often Americans whine about change for our nation yet are unwilling to bring the most powerful tool they process into action–prayer. We have seen many examples (in newspaper and Internet article headlines) of the transforming power of corporate prayer. Communities have dramatically lowered crime, suicide, unemployment and drug usage in examples where only prayer could be pointed to as the agent of change.”
Along those lines, the Task Force has launched a Web site–Adopt-A-Leader (adoptaleader.org)–where people can select a leader to pray for regularly throughout the year. Not just for elected leaders, Toon said, but people can “pick their pastor, anchorman, a military member, city councilman, etc. and pray for them regularly.”
The Task Force is also encouraging people to pray for our country seven days a week by making a commitment to pray for seven “centers of power”. These areas include government, military, media, business, education, church and family. The NDP Web site features specific prayer points for each of these areas.