Psalm 91:2 (New King James Version)
2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.”
2 Chronicles 7:11-16 (New International Version, ©2011)
11 When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, 12 the LORD appeared to him at night and said:
“I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.
13 “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,
14 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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
15 Now my eyes will be open and my ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that my Name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there.
You would hardly know from the lack of attention that it received, but to day, Thursday, May 5th, was the 60th National Day of Prayer. From the events website we learn:
"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.
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."
This year the verse from Psalm encourages us as a country to take a stand that God will be the foundation of all of our trust. Only He can be the One to handle all of the difficulties we are encountering in this day and age. If we as a country will only place our faith and trust in God, instead of the government and politicians, He will help us through.
In addition, I have noted passage from the Bible about national prayer that is familiar to many of you, that starts with verse 14, "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 I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
I would step back to verse 13, where God gives us the conditions to pray to Him, “When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people,..." If you have looked around our country lately, you wouldn't have to extrapolate God's statement to far, to know that His hand has been withdrawn from many areas of our national lives. As a Nation, we have thrown God out of every public area that we can, and because of a few, He may be thrown out of our country altogether, as has been done in Europe. One only needs to visit a few of the very secular countries to understand what I mean.
Our God has shut up the Heavens and has taken away the rains of blessing, He has sent the locusts of economic collapse and recession to devour our finances and given us monstorus indebtedness, He has allowed our greed, willful disobedience and self-interest devour our schools and families, and left our country in "spiritual want". We are in the midst of a plague that could take us down as a Nation if we don't reverse course soon.
As you settle down at the end of your day, and as we come to the end of this National Day of Prayer, let us lift our hearts and minds in prayer, and ask our good and benevolent God to have mercy on us. We need to step up, humble ourselves to our God, and pray for His grace. Let us not only pray on this 60th National Day of Prayer, let us decide today that each and every day we will pray for God to restore our Nation, our communities, and our families.