Annette R. Smith profile image

Praying for America and Her Leadership

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
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Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
Source: Jane M. Sawyer / MorgueFile

A National Observance

An official proclamation from the White House announced a National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2013.

The annual observance encourages personal and corporate prayer in seven key areas: government, military, media, education, business, church, and family.

In past proclamations, President Barack Obama recognized the significance of prayer in the United States. He noted examples in two past American leaders: President Abraham Lincoln and civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr.

He also encouraged Americans to "ask God for the sustenance to meet the challenges we face as a Nation" while paying tribute to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, "who have answered our country's call to serve with honor in the pursuit of peace."

This year, he asked Americans to pray for those who were affected by recent events such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut school shootings and the industrial disaster in West, Texas.

The 2013 theme was "Pray for America."
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The 2013 theme was "Pray for America."
Source: National Day of Prayer Task Force

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance.

Psalm 33:12

Pray for America

Each year, Congress calls on the President of the United States to declare a National Day of Prayer. The annual tradition predates the nation's founding, with a 1775 proclamation by the Continental Congress.

A joint congressional resolution created the first official observance of a National Day of Prayer in 1952. President Harry S. Truman signed the proclamation into law.

In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed an amended version that moved the observance to the first Thursday in May. The nation's 50 governors issue similar proclamations for their individual states.

The 2013 National Day of Prayer marked the 62nd annual observance, which followed a "Pray for America" theme. Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, served as the honorary chairman.

Pastor Greg Laurie Encourages Americans to Pray

National Prayer Day Theme

I urge ... that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:1-2

A Right and Responsibility

The Presidential Proclamation hearkened to the earliest American settlers who prayed that they would "rejoice together, mourn together, labor, and suffer together, always having before our eyes our commission and community in the work."

Today, the National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. According to Shirley Dobson, who chairs the National Day of Prayer task force, the observance "transcends differences, bringing together citizens of all backgrounds."

The National Day of Prayer represents a Judeo-Christian expression of prayer, based on the understanding that America was birthed in reverence for the God of the Bible. "The concepts and values of Judaism and Christianity are generally considered a basis for Western legal code and moral values," said the task force.

National prayer calls Americans to humble themselves before God as they seek his grace and guidance. Citizens are encouraged to pray for their national leaders, whether or not they agree with their politics.

Americans observe the National Day of Prayer in many ways.Some of them become strong "prayer warriors," particularly during an election year. While the elections are an important time for prayer, national prayer should extend beyond politics and annual observances.

The Bible says God blesses nations that keep his standards of righteousness and justice. American citizens have a right and a responsibility to pray for men everywhere, friends and foes alike.

Prayer changes lives and transforms nations.
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Prayer changes lives and transforms nations.
Source: Free Christian Wallpapers

I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.

Psalm 91:2

Scripture Encouragement

Just as prayer can change lives, it can transform nations. The National Day of Prayer encourages Americans to pray for their leaders, whether or not they agree with their politics.

To highlight the theme of "Pray for America," the National Day of Prayer task force chose Matthew 12:21 as the scripture verse of the year. "In His name the nations will put their hope," it says.

The following verses can also help Americans pray for the President, government officials, and members of the Armed Forces. The verses come from the NIV translation of the Bible.

  • Psalm 33:12: "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people he chose for his inheritance."
  • 2 Chronicles 7:13-14: "... 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 I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
  • 1 Timothy 2:1-2: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people -- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness."
  • Psalm 91:2: "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

America and Prayer

Can God Bless America?
Can God Bless America?
Book by John MacArthur / Format: Hardcover
Amazon Price: $2.87
List Price: $9.99
The Power of a Praying® Nation
The Power of a Praying® Nation
Book by Stormie O'Martian / Format: Paperback
Amazon Price: $0.86
List Price: $10.99
Turning the Tide: Real Hope, Real Change
Turning the Tide: Real Hope, Real Change
Book by Charles Stanley / Format: Hardcover
Amazon Price: $0.91
List Price: $24.00

National Prayer Resources

  • A Presidential Proclamation from the White House declared a National Day of Prayer on May 2, 2013. This marked the 62nd observance of a day to pray for America and her leaders.
  • The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday in May. While it represents a Judeo-Christian expression of prayer, it encourages Americans of all faiths to pray for their nation.
  • The Presidential Prayer Team is a media ministry dedicated to focused prayer for the President, national leaders, and Armed Forces. It is based on a belief that "God rules over the affairs of men … and moves in response to the prayers of his people."
  • In Touch Ministries is the teaching ministry of Charles Stanley, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Turning the Tide of Our Nation Through Prayer is a prayer schedule with supporting Scripture verses that encourages Americans to pray for their nation.

Prayer Song (with Lyrics): Performed by Sanctus Real

Copyright © 2011. Annette R. Smith. All rights reserved.

Published: May 9, 2011 / Modified: May 7, 2013.

The 2013 National Day of Prayer promotional tools included a Facebook cover.
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The 2013 National Day of Prayer promotional tools included a Facebook cover.
Source: National Day of Prayer Task Force

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 Last updated on May 7, 2013

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Post a Comment 9 comments

Hyphenbird profile image

Hyphenbird 2 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

I think it was all political on Obama's part. That is okay though. He doesn't know the prayers of the righteous avail much and God turns the hearts of kings-and presidents-at will.

Insightful Hub.

Apostle Jack profile image

Apostle Jack 2 years ago from Atlanta Ga

I pray that they will turn to God for leadership,not to continue without His application of principals.

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 2 years ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

Hyphenbird and Apostle Jack, thank you both for your comments. Unfortunately, the words spoken at prayer breakfasts and national observances don't always align with the words and deeds of our national leadership in other areas, especially in regard to what the Bible teaches.

But what a wonderful privilege we have to pray for our government and military leaders--and to know that God hears our prayers and can turn the tide at will.

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 24 months ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

Happy National Day of Prayer! How did you observe the day?

 
teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 20 months ago Level 8 Commenter

Annette, I thank you for reminding me of the importance of praying for our nation's leadership. No matter what they may believe, we have a duty to keep them in our prayers. Love your hub design and references. Blessings.

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 20 months ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

Hello, teaches12345. It's a pleasure to meet you here! Thank you for reading "Praying for America and Her Leadership." Prayer is so important, especially during this moment in time. I appreciate your comments and encouragement. May the Lord richly bless your day!

celafoe profile image

celafoe 14 months ago from Planet earth. between the oceans Level 2 Commenter

Yes He wants us to pray aproprietly for our "leaders". And He provided scripture for each special situation. For BO and his cabinet and most of congress we need to Pray. as follows, using scripture

Ps 109:2-13

2 For the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitfulHave opened against me;They have spoken against me with a lying tongue. 3 They have also surrounded me with words of hatred,And fought against me without a cause. 4 In return for my love they are my accusers,But I give myself to prayer. 5 Thus they have rewarded me evil for good,And hatred for my love.

6 Set a wicked man over him,And let an accuser stand at his right hand. 7 When he is judged, let him be found guilty,And let his prayer become sin. 8 Let his days be few,And let another take his office. 9 Let his children be fatherless,And his wife a widow. 10 Let his children continually be vagabonds, and beg;Let them seek their bread also from their desolate places. 11 Let the creditor seize all that he has,And let strangers plunder his labor. 12 Let there be none to extend mercy to him,Nor let there be any to favor his fatherless children. 13 Let his posterity be cut off,And in the generation following let their name be blotted out.

NKJV

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 14 months ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

Hello, celafoe. Thank you for reading my article and posting a response. I appreciate the Bible passage, too. God does indeed have a Word for His enemies. In this crazy, mixed up world, as people grow farther away from God, I am comforted by His Word for believers: "If God is for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31 NKJV). I hope those of us who are followers of Christ continue to pray for our nation. America needs our prayers.

Annette R. Smith profile image

Annette R. Smith 11 months ago from San Antonio, Texas Hub Author

"In His name the nations will put their hope" (Matthew 12:21) is the scripture verse for this year's National Day of Prayer. This month marks the 62nd annual observance of a national day of prayer in the United States. America needs our prayers!

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