Members of America’s National Prayer Committee met in Sarasota, FL, late January 2021, to report and reflect on the previous year, as well as pray for God’s direction for the new year.
The group convened their meetings the morning of the presidential Inauguration. Dave Butts, chairperson, invited members to pray for the nation. “I’ve never felt such a call for this particular group to be here together today to pray on Inauguration Day. God put this on the calendar for that purpose. You represent the prayer movement in the United States, and you are here to pray for our nation,” he said.
Several NPC members reflected on the growth of the prayer movement in 2020, primarily due to the COVID pandemic, racial tensions, riots, and the elections. Some believe the nation is witnessing the start of revival because of the exponential increase of people engaging in more urgent prayer.
Kathy Branzell, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force (NDP), notes that on Inauguration Day, “There was not a transition of power today. Never. God is on the throne. There was a transition of a person and a position, not of power.” She adds that through social media, Zoom calls, and email, “NDP reached more people than we ever, ever have. We did not cancel, we pivoted. It was not a year of less. It was a year of more.”
Dave Kubal of Intercessors for America (located in the Washington, D.C., area) also spoke of the growth of the prayer movement, especially related to the elections. “The most exciting outcome of this election is the revival of the intercessory activist,” he observes. He sees a new wave of prayer coming—an awakening that is just beginning to develop. He believes this new wave will emphasize crying out to God for freedom to worship in this nation.
In addition to religious freedom as an urgent prayer point, Matt Lockett of Justice House of Prayer shared additional challenges of ending abortion and racism. Lockett has prayed at the Supreme Court for 17 years and notes hopeful advances in the pro-life movement that include reduced abortion rates, three new pro-life Supreme Court Justices, and the appointment of more than 230 federal judges in the last four years. He also believes there is hope in healing racial division.
“You see the counterfeit,” he says, “but God is at work.” When Lockett and Will Ford (Will Ford Ministries) share their story of racial reconciliation around the country, racial barriers break down. “The enemy is raging with the riots. There is a war in this nation over the narrative,” he says. “But God’s got a better story to tell.”
An additional prayer strategy introduced to the group is called “Pray Beyond,” a vision to pray for every person in the world by name. Brian Alarid of America Prays states “how powerful it is when someone remembers your name.” The desire is for eight billion people to be prayed for to the point of salvation.
Although prayer leaders anticipate challenges for the Church in 2021, Branzell (NDP) speaks to hope in the power of prayer. “We need to not become paranoid—but passionate prayer warriors.”