The month of May brings us the promise of Spring, a time of renewal and a fresh reminder of new beginnings. May also brings us a time to add to the promise of this season. The first Thursday of May is the National Day of Prayer. This day is set aside to encourage Christians to pray for our nation, government, leadership, and the Church.
Love One Another
This year’s theme, Love One Another, is derived from John 13:34 in which Jesus commands us to love one another as He has loved us. Now more than ever in the midst of political strife, the rise of hate crimes, and common courtesy being in short demand, we are reminded by this scripture that Jesus’ words are a commandment, not a suggestion. We as believers have a grand opportunity to reflect God’s love through word and deed, and prayer can be a catalyst in softening hardened hearts and attitudes. Prayer can help us to speak peace in the midst of wrathful conversation and give us wisdom to know when to hold our peace. Prayer changes things!
What is prayer?
Simply stated, prayer is communication with God. It can be a formal, heartfelt petition expressed in eloquent poetic, and prayer can be a simple “Lord, have mercy!” Prayer is:
- An essential part of our faith.
- The primary way that we talk with God about our cares and concerns.
- A means to express our thanks for God’s constant provision and blessings.
Whether spoken from our lips or shared from our hearts, as believers we can be confident that God hears our petitions (1 John 5:14).
Observing the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer is an opportunity to unite in faith with other believers asking God to help us and guide us to fulfill the commandment in loving one another. I invite and encourage you to take a moment on May 2nd to pray. There is no prescriptive format to pray, just be encouraged to pray from the heart and be led in the Spirit in your conversation with God.
If you are uncertain about what to pray for, the following are suggestions and scriptures to focus on for the National Day of Prayer and beyond:
- Prayers for the Church (John 13:34) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
- Prayers for Epikos Pastors and church leadership (Jeremiah 3:15) And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.
- Prayers for local and national leadership (1 Timothy 2:1-2) First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.
- Prayers for those who don’t know Christ (Matthew 11:28-30) Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
With all of this discussion about prayer, I think I would be remiss if I didn’t share my prayer for you:
My prayer for you all is that prayer itself becomes as vital and natural to your life as breathing.
I pray that in moments of crisis that prayer is your first option, not your last resort.
I pray that your prayer life moves beyond ritual and formality into a never ending, intimate conversation with God.
Thank you Lord for hearing my prayer.
In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen!