In this anniversary year we are celebrating the 70th National Day of Prayer observance, seven decades of American Presidents, by law, calling for prayer for our nation.
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. 2 Corinthians 3:17 NAS
The National Day of Prayer exists to mobilize unified public prayer for America.
The First Thursday of May 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. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
2021 NATIONAL PRAYER FOR AMERICA
Lord, we look up and see the billions of stars
You created, and we praise You. We look
around and see the billions of people You
created in Your image; uniquely, fearfully,
wonderfully, and we thank You. Wrap us in Your
Spirit and unite us in Your family, Lord.
Thank You for loving us first. In Your love for the
whole world, You sent Your Son to save us.
Jesus, in You alone we have abundant and
everlasting life. Thank you for teaching and
leading us to love and live, fruitful, and faithful.
In Your life, death, resurrection, and ascension
You are our Lord, our love, our life, and our
liberty. You came to “bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to captives and
freedom to prisoners.” You have freed us from
the penalty and shame of our sin; free to live
life as You designed and Your destiny
for our Nation.
Spirit search us, convict us, as we repent for
our sin and the sins of America. Please cleanse,
fill, and send us. We rejoice, knowing that Your
forgiveness makes us acceptable and effective
vessels for Your love, life and liberty in our
family, church, education, workplace, military,
government, art, entertainment, and media.
We pray that America will be united in love to
serve You with all our hearts, all our ways, and
all of our days. Unite us to pray, love; to live and
walk by the Spirit. Conform and transform us
as we pray and proclaim, “Now the Lord is the
Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is liberty.”
We pray this is the name of Jesus, Amen.
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force
President Reagan’s Remarks on Signing the 1987 National Day of Prayer Proclamation
December 22, 1986
By the President of the United States of America
In 1952 the Congress of the United States, resuming a tradition observed by the Continental Congress from 1776 to 1783 and followed intermittently thereafter, adopted a resolution calling on the President to set aside and proclaim a suitable day each year as a National Day of Prayer. At the time the resolution was adopted, Americans were dying on the battlefield in Korea. More than 125,000 of our young men had been killed or wounded in that conflict, the third major war in which our troops were involved in a century barely half over.
Members of Congress who spoke for the resolution made clear that they felt the Nation continued to face the very same challenges that preoccupied our Founders: the survival of freedom in a world frequently hostile to human ideals and the struggle for faith in an age that openly doubted or vehemently denied the existence of the Almighty. One Senator remarked that “it would be timely and appropriate for the people of our Nation to join in this service of prayer in the spirit of the founding fathers who believed that God governs in the affairs of men and who based their Declaration of Independence upon a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.”
Human nature is such that times of distress, grief, and war — or their recent memory — impel us to acknowledgements we are often too proud to make, or too prone to forget, in periods of peace and prosperity. During the Civil War Lincoln said that he was driven to his knees in prayer because he was convinced that he had nowhere else to go. During World War II, an unknown soldier in a trench in Tunisia left behind a scrap of paper with the verses:
Stay with me, God. The night is dark,
The night is cold: my little spark
Of courage dies. The night is long;
Be with me, God, and make me strong.
America has lived through many a cold, dark night, when the cupped hands of prayer were our only shield against the extinction of courage. Though that flame has flickered from time to time, it burns brightest when we are willing, as we ought to be now, to turn our faces and our hearts to God not only at moments of personal danger and civil strife, but in the full flower of the liberty, peace, and abundance that He has showered upon us.
Indeed, the true meaning of our entire history as a Nation can scarcely be glimpsed without some notion of the importance of prayer, our Declaration of Dependence on God’s favor on this unfinished enterprise we call America. Our land today is more diverse than ever, our citizens come from nearly every nation on Earth, and the variety of religious traditions that have found welcome here has never been greater. On our National Day of Prayer, then, we join together as people of many faiths to petition God to show us His mercy and His love, to heal our weariness and uphold our hope, that we might live ever mindful of His justice and thankful for His blessing.
By joint resolution of the Congress approved April 17, 1952, the recognition of a particular day set aside each year as a National Day of Prayer has become a cherished national tradition.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 7, 1987, as a National Day of Prayer. I call upon the citizens of this great Nation to gather together on that day in homes and places of worship to pray, each after his or her own manner, for unity of the hearts of all mankind.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-second day of December, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and eleventh.