The Power of Prayer for Our Nation: Why National Day of Prayer Is Vital

Debbie McDaniel | iBelieve Contributing Writer | Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Power of Prayer for Our Nation: Why National Day of Prayer Is Vital

In 1775, the first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln called for this powerful day again. In 1952, President Harry Truman signed a bill into law, making the National Day of Prayer an annual event on the first Thursday of May, encouraging millions across our nation to unite together to pray.

We've come a long way since those days. And now, maybe more than ever, our nation needs our continued prayers for God’s healing, help, and peace.

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for America. All across our nation, from sun up to sun down, at state capitals, on city hall steps, in county courthouses, in churches, businesses, schools, and homes, people gather together in big groups and small gatherings, and do one thing that unites us all as believers in America.


We can be confident that on this very day, thousands of Americans are working hard to rally millions of Christians to once again heed this call to prayer on behalf of our nation.

Inspired by the verse from Daniel 9:19, the theme for this year is For Your Great Name's Sake! Hear Us ...Forgive Us ...Heal Us! says this, The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.”

“The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people.”

Also shared is this important change, “The National Day of Prayer Washington DC Observance will be moving to an evening event! From 7:30 to 9 pm ET, you can tune in by live stream on our National Day of Prayer website, as our Chairperson, Anne Graham Lotz, leads us in unified prayer for America.”

At this crucial time in our nation’s history, we can do nothing more important than pray.

Yet sometimes it's hard to know where to begin or how to pray. We just know we have a deep ache in our hearts that cries out for God's mercy, and a longing to see him heal our land. And maybe other times we wonder how effective our prayers even are. 

But no matter what, we can be confident that God is faithful. He is aware and His Spirit is at work, over all that swirls around us in our nation today. That same power that broke prison chains, raised Lazarus from the dead, and parted the Red Sea, the same power that healed the blind man, and delivered the delirious from demons, that same power is at work still today.

He is the same. Yesterday, today, and forever.

May we stand together as believers, and pray for God to heal our land, and strengthen His people. May we pray for all those in authority. May we pray for God’s miraculous intervening, for blind eyes to be opened, for lives to be changed, for reconciliation, for help and restoration in our nation. May we pray for many to see the power of our Lord as never before.

God never leaves us all on our own, wrestling in worry, consumed with fear, or driven towards hate. He reminds us that He is with us, He will help us, and hasn't lost control, but has a plan. And His purposes will prevail.

We can be assured that He hears our prayers and He knows our needs.

There's great power in turning our hearts towards God.

There’s great power in united prayer for our nation.

There’s great power in the unity of believers.

There is great power in the name of Jesus.

Remembering today this powerful truth upon which our nation was founded: we are "One Nation Under God." He is where real hope is found, not in our leaders, not in our economy, not in the condition of our nation today, or any other day.

Let’s unite, stand together, and pray that God be lifted up and glorified through our lives and in our nation.

Dear God,

We ask that you'd bring about an awakening of your presence to America as never seen before. We pray that you would unify your people for the glory of your great Name. We pray that many would come to know you as Lord and Savior, we pray that many would see your Light, that you would open blind eyes and release those still imprisoned.

Wake us up Lord! Remind us to live aware, to redeem the time, to listen to your words, to be willing to make a difference in this land.

We pray for all those in authority, that you would give them your wisdom and discernment as they lead. We ask that you would appoint strong, faithful men and women to serve this nation and our people.

We pray for your great healing on America. Shine your face on us dear God. We need you now, more than ever before. Our times are in your hands.

Thank you that you are rich in mercy and full of grace. Thank you that you are forgiving and merciful. Thank you that you are strong and mighty. Thank you that you are for us and that you fight for us still today. Bring honor to your Name, Oh Lord, for You alone are worthy.

In the Powerful Name of Jesus we pray,


“Lord, listen! Lord, forgive! Lord, hear and act! For your sake, my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name." Daniel 9:19



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Publication date: May 3, 2017