Thursday, May 4, 2023, is the National Day of Prayer — a day observed typically on the first Thursday in May in the U.S.
Two years ago, the National Day of Prayer went virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.
This year, many are praying together with others — either in their houses of worship or in their community gathering places.
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Still others are praying in their own homes, in their own ways, with their own families and loved ones.
President Joe Biden said in part this week, “On this National Day of Prayer, we recognize the profound power of prayer, grounded in deep humility and hope.”
Fox News Digital heard from an array of faith leaders all over the country this week ahead of Thursday — with some expressing a clear sense of urgency and worry about the state of our country and our fellow citizens right now.
“In these tenuous and trying times, the very best thing we can do is to bring our cares and concerns to God in prayer,” said Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. (iStock)
Here are some of their comments.
Dan Britton, chief field officer with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, based in Kansas City, Missouri, said, “Prayer is the one thing that can have the greatest impact on our lives and the lives of others. Today, on this National Day of Prayer for our nation, our leaders, families and all across America, we can ask ourselves: ‘What is the one prayer that will change your life?'”
He went on, ‘Yes, Lord!’”
“Prayer … is a powerful tool to unite a nation toward a common goal.”
Said Britton, “When we pray these two words, we acknowledge God is in charge and we are not. We give up control and place all our trust in him. The Lord is constantly moving in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit, and when we simply pray, ‘Yes, Lord!’ we are responding to his leading and direction. We are placing him in charge of our lives.”
Britton said further, “We value and join those who believe prayer is vital to our relationship to God through Jesus, and is a powerful tool to unite a nation toward a common goal.”
“Prayer is a lightning rod, a live wire. It allows us to communicate and connect with the one person who has the power to soothe every sorrow, heal every wound, dry every tear and restore very loss.” (iStock)
Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, told Fox News Digital, “In these tenuous and trying times, the very best thing we can do is to bring our cares and concerns to God in prayer. No matter how noisy the news, he is listening. He understands.”
Daly added, “Prayer is a lightning rod, a live wire. It allows us to communicate and connect with the one person who has the power to soothe every sorrow, heal every wound, dry every tear and restore very loss. Prayer is not passive. It’s the best action we can take.”
“Prayer is not passive. It’s the best action we can take.”
Frank Gaffney, executive chairman and founder, Center for Security Policy, is based in Washington, D.C., and shared this comment: “The National Day of Prayer is a reminder of the providential character of this nation’s founding. The only hope for its survival in this perilous moment is our people’s faith in Almighty God and our prayers for his continuing grace — despite our serious affronts to him and his teachings.”
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Sheri Few, founder and president of United States Parents Involved in Education (USPIE.org) in Columbia, South Carolina, told Fox News Digital, “The National Day of Prayer is not a historical relic, as many seem to think — but a vital part of our practice and tradition, as it always has been.”
She added, “Considering the vile policies the U.S. Department of Education is forcing on schoolchildren, and teachers creating hatred between ethnic groups and inciting violence, our country needs prayer now as much as at any other time of national crisis.”
“We have the right and the duty to beseech Almighty God not just to watch over us, but to forgive us.” (Associated Press)
Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of the American Family Association in Tupelo, Mississippi, said, “America needs to fall on its knees as never before and repent of its sins on this Day of Prayer.”
He added, “The genius of our country and the Founding Fathers is that they knew the Christian faith — properly understood and exercised faithfully — would be both a boon to and a bulwark for society. If the church will be the church, America will prosper, as would any other nation on earth.”
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Vitagliano also said, “We have the right and the duty to beseech Almighty God not just to watch over us, but to forgive us.”
“The genius of our country and the Founding Fathers is that they knew the Christian faith.”
Said David Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California, and a New York Times best-selling author of over 50 books, told Fox News Digital, “Our world is facing unprecedented uncertainty. Health, finances, politics — every aspect of life seems to be hanging in the balance. Yet there is one source of true hope and healing — and that is Almighty God.”
He added, “He has promised, ‘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 will forgive their sin and heal their land.’”
Said David Jeremiah on this National Day of Prayer, “Our world is facing unprecedented uncertainty. Health, finances, politics — every aspect of life seems to be hanging in the balance. Yet there is one source of true hope and healing — and that is Almighty God.” (Turning Point)
He also said, “Please join me, on this National Day of Prayer, in praying for our communities, our nation and our world.”
He shared his prayer: ‘Lord, thank you for the help you provide each day. You are indeed our strength and provider. You have never failed … May your word spread among the nations. May your plan for history move along its preordained course. Give us leaders who fear you. Give us missions instead of misery, hope instead of despair, food and water where there is hunger and thirst, peace where there is war. Bring healing to the diseased and freedom to the oppressed. May your name be exalted from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. Amen.”
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Theresa Lynn Sidebotham, Esq., founder of Telios Law, PLLC, located in Monument, Colorado, told Fox News Digital, “The National Day of Prayer is not only a time to pray for our leaders and our country, it is a time to invite the leadership of Christ into all that we do. It is a time to focus on the sacredness of every human encounter — whether that’s protecting children in our ministries and communities, or our peers in the workforce.”
“It is a time to invite the leadership of Christ into all that we do.”
She added, “Through prayer, focus and action, we can build the Kingdom of God.”
Sidebotham is author of the new book, “Handling Allegations in a Ministry,” which helps pastors, ministry leaders and HR professionals navigate the process of response and investigation.
“America needs this collective pause to give thanks to the creator while praying for the leaders of church, government, business, education, military, media and family, to follow in his ways.” (iStock)
Mark Hancock, CEO of Trail Life USA, based in Greenville, South Carolina, told Fox News Digital via email, “Trail Life USA Trailmen, 50,000 strong, know that prayer is essential to the success and survival of anything good.”
He said “We join with our Christian brothers and sisters across the country in praying for his will to be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”
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Patti Garibay, founder and national executive director of American Heritage Girls, headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, told Fox News Digital, “The National Day of Prayer is an integral part of millions of citizens’ annual observances. Established in 1952 as a public reaction to the threats perceived in the Korean War, it is still relevant today.”
Garibay is author of the book, “Why Curse the Darkness When You Can Light a Candle?”
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She added, “From the Founding Fathers fasting and praying during the Second Continental Congress to the intentional observance by ethical and moral leaders of today, America needs this collective pause to give thanks to the creator while praying for the leaders of church, government, business, education, military, media and family to follow in his ways.”