How will you be observing the National Day of Prayer this Thursday, May 7, 2020? There is certainly lots to be praying about all around our country and the world. COVID-19 is impacting all facets of our lives, including hampering annual community stalwarts like high school and college graduations. COVID-19 is also hindering many people’s ability to provide for their families by going to work and earning a living. Whereas the events of 9-11 unified and galvanized America, COVID-19 appears to be a source of increasing contentiousness. Our spinning blue planet is not inhabited by people who like to be still for too long. Silence and waiting are neither our national nor global fortes. All of this mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual stretching and straining we are experiencing naturally begs the question of how will you pray amid the tensions stemming from this coronavirus pandemic? How should we pray?
God, as I understand Him, delights in the conversations we engage Him in through prayer. Prayer is a way for us to communicate with our Maker. When we spend time in prayer we are spending time in the presence of God. We can just be still, knowing that He is there with us. The door to the office is always open. God is always there, ready to listen to us and prepared to speak to us even though we may not be as adept at listening as we should be or oftentimes too busy talking to hear what God has to say to us. But the good news is, practice makes better. Praying is a gift and skill that you and I can develop and improve upon through regular practice.
2020 NATIONAL PRAYER FOR AMERICA*
Lord, we exist to give You glory. We exist
because of Your glory, and in Your glory, as
our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. We
give you thanks and praise for every breath
and moment You have given to us. We
repent of our sin; for the shameful things
we have done against You and for our
silence when we did not speak up to
proclaim Your Name, profess Your Word,
or protect and practice Your will.
We ask Your forgiveness.
We pray that the knowledge of the glory of
the Lord will spread across our nation and
the entire earth as we seek Your Kingdom
and righteousness; as we walk in
obedience to You, and in humble unity,
love one another. Jesus, the Bible says that
You are “the knowledge of the glory of the
Lord.” You have taught us to pray,
commanded us to love, and commissioned
us to share Your gospel of grace. Your
glory fills our hearts and families, it
overflows into our neighborhoods,
workplaces, campuses, churches,
entertainment, and media. We give thanks
for our military and ask that Your glory
would spread to, and through them as they
preserve freedom around the world. We
pray for our government, that all of our
leaders and laws would be filled with Your
glory, that they would magnify Your Holy
Word and honor Your will and ways. We
pray that Your grace and glory would
spread to bring hope to the hopeless, and
love where there is hurt and hate. God, use
us as we pray your promise, that “the earth
will be filled with the knowledge of the
glory of the Lord as the waters
cover the sea.” In Jesus Name, Amen!
President, National Day of Prayer Task Force
*From the National Day of Prayer Task Force website
6 Main Areas You Can Pray for on the National Day of Prayer:
Pray for your church locally and the Church globally. Pray for the pastors, shepherds, elders, and leaders. Be sure to pray for their families as they serve on the frontlines of the spiritual battle our world is engaged in. Amid these trying times, pray that people would be drawn by God and flood the Church seeking to dwell in His presence. Pray that as believers, we would carry both the salt of truth and light of love into this world wherever we go, shining as beacons of hope from a city on a hill built on God’s holiness and goodness.
Pray for your local, state, and federal leaders. Pray for the leaders around the world. They are faced with a multitude of difficult decisions during these unparalleled challenging times. It doesn’t really matter if you agree with their politics. You don’t have to support everything they are about to pray for your leaders. Pray for them to exercise godly wisdom and seek God’s direction as they take in all the data and information that flows into their offices and comes across their desks. Imagine if you were on a cruise and your ship encounters a big storm when you realize that your boat doesn’t have a captain steering your ship. At that moment, you wouldn’t need a captain with whom you agreed with on everything or on anything—you’d simply want a captain to lead you out of harm’s way. And remember, leaders have front row seats that enable them to have a view and perspective neither you nor I get to experience. Give your leaders the benefit of the doubt and presume they are acting in your best interests and in the best interests of all whom they serve, even if you don’t agree one iota with what they are doing or how they are doing it. Exercise grace in how you react to their decisions. No one makes perfect decisions all the time unless you simply don’t make a lot of decisions. Pray for them. Lift them up to God.
Pray for your families and the families on your street, in your neighborhood, in your church, and your community. As they come to mind, is there something that you could do for them to help them navigate this crisis more easily? Turn that thought into action. Pray for the millions of kids and young people who were looking forward to their high school and college graduation only to have COVID-19 alter and impact their lifelong dreams. Pray that they would be encouraged by our communal thoughts and prayers and that any obstacles impeding their graduation would be removed.
Tens of thousands of small business owners reeling from the devastating blow that responding to the threat of COVID-19 delivered unexpectedly. There is no saving up for a rainy day policy that could help them overcome this storm. They need our help financially and spiritually. Participate in #TakeOutTuesday and make it a point to visit the different small operators in your community that you can and in the way that you able, following your local safety parameters. Pray for them. These small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and the livelihood of millions.
Pray for those serving and protecting our country at home and abroad. May God keep them out of harm’s way and bring them home to their loved ones safe and sound. Pray for our first responders, too. Pray that they would be well-prepared and fully equipped to face the enemy they are charged with protecting us from and pray for their families, finances, and futures. Pray that they would be mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually strong in the face of the enemy they are combatting, be it an enemy they see or an unseen enemy.
Pray for all those in the arts, entertainment, and news media as they go about doing their work. Some of their work is creative. Others deal with facts. In either case, pray that they employ godly wisdom in doing their respective work. Pray that more genuine and authentic Christ-followers would use their gifts and talents to draw people to God and to glorify the Lord through the work they do in media, be it art, music, radio, television, web-based, social media, or one of the many mediums that communicate truth and beauty in this fallen world we live in.
These are just some thoughts and examples of what you can be praying about on Thursday during your observance of the National Day of Prayer.
How has this post encouraged you to observe the National Day of Prayer? I’m hoping you will participate somehow, someway on Thursday, May 7, as we lift up our churches, government, families, neighborhoods, communities, businesses, military, first responders, arts, and media to our one and holy God.
- How often do you pray?
- Do you consider yourself a prayer warrior or a prayer novice?
- Do you pray regularly with your partner or loved ones?
- What aspects of your prayer life would you like to improve?
- How are you planning to observe the National Day of Prayer?
I stumbled across an interesting series on YouTube produced by Worship Together and titled Wednesday Night Worship. Check out the episode featuring worship artists We The Kingdom.
If you know someone that might find encouragement through reading my blog, please share it with them. I am humbly grateful for the time you invested in reading my blog. I love engaging with my readers through the comments that they leave, so be sure to leave a comment, share your thoughts, or give me a shout.
The Devotional Guy™
ABOUT: The Devotional Guy™ is a writing ministry of Rainer Bantau, a seasoned gospel preacher, church musician, and chaplain ministering to individuals in their workplaces, to the homeless, and wherever he meets them. He shares helps, hope, and insights on his blog, The Devotional Guy™.
The Archaeological Study Bible (2005). Zondervan Publishing. Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Minister’s Bible (2007). Hendrickson Bible Publishing. Peabody, Massachusetts.
I believe that to experience life the way God intended, you and I must receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Jesus Christ, God has made this gift available to all who ask.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Will you personally receive the gift of eternal life so that you can experience the total forgiveness from your sins that come through believing in the atoning death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ?
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God- not by works, so that no one can boast.”