2021 | Week of April 26 | Radio Transcript #1409
For biblical Christians, what is more powerful than prayer lifted up to the Creator God? What is more necessary than God’s grace? What is more ennobling than the prayer that beseeches that God’s grace be shed abroad in the hearts of mankind and that our homeland be the beneficiary of that inexplicable grace?
Next Thursday, May 6 is National Day of Prayer. As I think about that day, Hebrews 4:16 comes to mind, where we read “[l]et us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
The great patriotic hymn, “America the Beautiful,” contains the phrase, “God shed His grace on thee,” meaning our country. How America needs God’s grace—His goodness and kindness bestowed on us in spite of our dreadfully undeserving position and behavior. More than ever we are a nation wallowing in sin and depravity—and yet enjoying so much of God’s grace. How long will God allow that to continue?
While I’m not a theologian, I suspect that what has stayed God’s judgment and continued His grace on America in recent years is the intercessory prayers of His people—people begging God, as did Abraham of old, to consider the righteous ones who are left and to hold off judgment because of their spiritual condition and their intervention.
As Christians, we are instructed to pray without ceasing, to pray faithfully for those in leadership in our country, to pray about everything. Praying should be second nature to us, as should praying for our nation. Often, National Day of Prayer goes unnoticed and rather “untouched” by Bible-believing Christians. I want to challenge all of us this year to consider what a great opportunity this official, government-recognized, yea government-endorsed day affords us. What other nation in this world formally recognizes a day for prayer with its full intention being to pray to the God of the Bible?
The National Day of Prayer has its specific roots in the well-documented accounts of our Founding Fathers calling for public prayer. In 1775, as the men gathered to determine the future of our country, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray—to pray for wisdom as they made decisions. And in 1863, in the midst of America’s tragic Civil War, President Lincoln, recognizing the need for God’s intervention, proclaimed a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
Formal government sanction for a National Day of Prayer didn’t come until 1952, when President Harry Truman signed a joint Congressional resolution that declared an annual national day of prayer. Thirty-six years later, in 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.
You can be sure, given the history of our country and the personal beliefs of our founding fathers and of presidents Lincoln, Truman and Reagan, that they were advocating praying to the God of Heaven, the only source of true grace.
It is true that not all who join in National Day of Prayer events this year will offer prayers that reach the throne of Almighty God. I don’t think their participation should stop us from being involved in this national call to prayer. In fact, it should motivate us all the more.
Those of us who are Christians in the biblical sense of the word, being born-again through Jesus Christ God’s Son, know our prayers on behalf of our nation will be heard. For God’s grace to continue to be shed on America, God’s people must pray for our country, for our leaders, for our families, our churches, for our military and even for those who lead in the areas of education and media.
So, on the National Day of Prayer, next Thursday, May 6, we encourage you to do something to give special recognition to this day—whether it’s increased time in personal prayer, a special family time of prayer, having some friends join you at your home for prayer, organizing a lunch-hour prayer meeting at work, opening your church for prayer, or attending an organized event. As Christians, let’s lead the way and set the example in prayer—let’s show our fellow Americans why God’s grace has been shed on this great land and what must be done for that grace to continue.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” Top of Form