2 Chronicles 7:13-16 (New Living Translation)
13 At times I might shut up the heavens so that no rain falls, or command grasshoppers to devour your crops, or send plagues among you.
14 Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
15 My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place. 16 For I have chosen this Temple and set it apart to be holy—a place where my name will be honored forever. I will always watch over it, for it is dear to my heart.
The passage above was God's answer to Solomon's prayer made during the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem around the 5th century B.C. Although this was a specific answer to a specific prayer, for a specific people, there is application for us. In our time, God resides in the heart of every Christian believer, and I do believe that He is "attentive to every prayer made". Some believe that a Christian minority that prays for the Nation will have little effect on turning it around, but I believe that our concentrated prayers can "restore our land".
Today is the National Day of Prayer, and here from the official event website is a short history:
"The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations."
"The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. 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 to us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning."
"The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too."
"There have been 135 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2009), and the President of the United States has called for a National Day of Prayer every year since 1975."
President Obama has issued a proclamation declaring today as National Day of Prayer. In his proclamation, the President stated, “On this day, let us give thanks for the many blessings God has bestowed upon our Nation,” said Obama in the proclamation. “Let us rejoice for the blessing of freedom both to believe and to live our beliefs, and for the many other freedoms and opportunities that bring us together as one Nation.”
With the way that things are in our country, today more than ever we need to pray for our Nation, and we need to pray that God will help us to maintain the Judeo-Christian traditions we all cherish. Because of atheists and others that want our Nation to eliminate God from every facit of our national life, this observance and call to prayer is under attack. Unless we pray and seek God, and at the same time become active to fight back against these few who want to take away the religious rights of the many, our freedom to recognize God as our Creator, and the One who established our Nation, will be taken away.