The theme chosen by the National Day of Prayer Committee for this day is "Investing In Hope...Transforming Our Nation Through Prayer."
The featured Scripture verse is, "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 15:6).
It is expected that more than 2,000,000 people will gather across the nation in small communities and large cities to pray to God, asking Him to transform our nation.
The National Day of Prayer Committee, chaired this year by Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham's daughter, has also provided a local prayer event directory. You may go to this link, enter your zip code and find information on prayer gatherings in your area.
John Bornschein was asked to write an article for this National Day of Prayer. It is titled, "Still...Under God." He asks, "Why does the United states have a day of prayer, designated by Congress, signed into law by the President of the United States, recognized by all 50 Governors and observed by millions of people?
He says, "The reason is clear. It is etched on buildings, monuments and memorials, defined in law and recited by students each and every day. Like it or not, this great nation is still 'Under God'---a God who is active in the affairs of men and their governing authorities (Proverbs 8:15; 21:1, Daniel 4:25)."
Bornschein says, "Groups like Planned Parenthood and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, among others, oppose the idea that people are accountable to an Almighty God. But this is 'nothing new under the sun'," quoting from Eccl 1:9. He says, "Generation after generation, people seek to tear down the institutions that uphold what remaining moral layers prevail within a civilized society, offering nothing in return. After all, its easier to tear down than to build up."
He directs the reader's attention to a letter written by Benjamin Franklin to Thomas Paine in response to Paine's controversial book "Age Of Reason."
Keep in mind, Franklin was one of the least religious of our Founders.
Franklin tells Paine, "I have read your manuscript with some attention. By the argument it contains against a particular Providence, though you allow for a general Providence, that takes cognizance of, guards, and guides, and may favor particular persons, there is no motive to worship a Deity, to fear his displeasure, or to pray for his protection."
Franklin tells Paine he doesn't want to argue that point because "he that spits against the wind, spits in his own face."
Franklin tells Paine that while he, Paine, may be so morally superior that he doesn't need the blessing of God and religion, most are not.
In the end, Franklin tells Paine to burn the manuscript before anyone else sees it and he further humiliates himself...but reaffirmed his friendship with Paine.
The letter is informative and fascinating. The complete letter is included in the link above.
Bornschein's remarks, I believe, are spot on.
He concludes with this:
We are one nation under God, and a nation that is under God must stand under His virtues and give Him the praise and recognition for his bountiful blessings that He so rightfully deserves. Accumulative wisdom is not sufficient to navigate the challenges of the day. Therefore, “it is the duty of all nations to recognize the providence of Almighty God” – George Washington, October 1789. Remembering the God of Fathers is what prompted Thomas Jefferson to share these powerful words on March 4, 1801:
“Endow with Thy spirit of wisdom those whom in Thy name we entrust the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that through obedience to Thy law, we may show forth Thy praise among the nations of the earth.”
The National Day of Prayer – a tradition of honoring God that began in 1774 at the First Congress when a minister was asked to open with prayer and to lead Congress in the reading of four chapters of the Bible – is a call to all of God’s people to unite in prayer in one voice and one mind (Romans 15:6). It is a concept that was birthed in Scripture when the prophets Ezra and Joel (Ezra 9, Nehemiah 8-9, and Joel 1-3) called for the people to unite in humility and reverence before Almighty God. In fact, 2 Chronicles 6:13-42 records that all of Israel gathered together to worship and pray unto God. Although the calendar dates have changed, the need for prayer has not. Let us unite on the largest Solemn Assembly in U.S. History and glorify the Lord, remembering that we are one nation, UNDER GOD.
Be Prayerful. Be Blessed.