I’ve often thought about what would happen if every Christian in the world, or even just in the United States, would pray at the same time in the name of Jesus. Could we actually see a mountain move? In my heart, I believe that yes, we could. I don’t know if I am a rare bird in 2017 or if others agree, but it’s worth a try, isn’t it?
This week marks the 65th year that the United States will hold the National Day of Prayer, which was brought to us by an Act of Congress in 1952. As you might imagine, this annual event has had its share of controversy. In fact, according to “The Christian Post,” “In 2010, one judge ruled the observance unconstitutional only to have the decision overturned in 2011 via a unanimous ruling from a three-judge appellate panel.”
In a nation where organized religion is losing members every year and the fight for equality is often translated to a fight for less public observation of God, I find it both amazing and encouraging that this tradition has endured. This event is a call for people of different religions to pray for our country and for its leaders.
Years ago I worked for a faith-based nonprofit that hosted a reception the night before the National Prayer Breakfast, which is held in early February. The venue for the event was buzzing with activity, and sightings of modern day saints were plentiful. Joni Eareckson Tada, Billy and Franklin Graham, Chuck Colson and dozens of senators, high-powered executives and more crowded the halls and private receptions. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have participated in this small way for such an amazing event. It was inspiring and humbling to see people of all walks of life stopping to put a hand on a shoulder and softly speaking a word of prayer and encouragement to one another.
Today’s event, the National Day of Prayer, draws 40,000-45,000 groups across the U.S. who gather and ask that we all pray for our country and its leaders from 7:30-9 p.m. (EST). If you are inclined to join in this amazing event (another wonderful example of our country’s religious freedoms), the next question is: What exactly will you pray for?
So many of my dear friends are on opposite sides of many of today’s political positions from where I stand. If we want to move a mountain or two, we can’t ask for competing positions all in the name of Jesus. Instead, we need to search our hearts and seek God’s will for our nation. We need to ask God to guide our country’s leaders to hear his voice and be instruments of unity, healing and perseverance.
So take a few minutes this evening—perhaps with your family or friends—to pray, whether it is for five minutes or the full 90 minutes. Let’s see if together we can raise our song of prayer and petition to God and, just maybe, move the mountain of wavering faith and trust in the power of God through the mighty name of the risen Lord, Jesus!