On May 1, 2014, the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer (NDP) will take place. Millions of Americans will unite at more than 42,000 locations from coast to coast to pray. The theme this year, selected by Shirley Dobson (chairman of the NDP Task Force), is “One Voice, United in Prayer,” based on Romans 15:6: “. . . so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Dobson emphasizes the need for a national and united prayer movement. “Today, we face extremely difficult times and daunting challenges, from economic turmoil to the threat of terrorism to moral confusion and decline. It behooves us, then, to once again honor the precedent established by presidents and leaders throughout our history—that of proclaiming reliance on an Almighty God and calling citizens to come before Him on behalf of our nation.”
A nation can be punished by the actions of its leaders, observes John Bornschein, NDP vice chairman. He cites 2 Samuel 4, and then adds that a nation can also be punished with poor leaders because the hearts of the people are evil (2 Kings 17:1–23). “In the same way, a nation can be blessed with good leadership because the people honor God,” says Bornschein. “We can honor the structure of leadership that God has ordained, and we can do this even if we do not agree with all the decisions those in authority are making; that’s just all the more reason to pray for them. The action of prayer is healthy for a home and a community.”
The National Day of Prayer Task Force launched an unprecedented prayer campaign in the summer of 2013. Staff members boarded a specially decorated bus and visited more than 400 communities in 33 states. Dion Elmore, NDP director of public relations, describes the purpose of the bus tour: “City after city, we engaged people with the challenge to Pray for America, and asked the question, ‘What are the greatest prayer needs in your community?’ The number one answer that we received, over and over again, was unity. ‘Please pray for unity!’”
The NDP Task Force seeks to encourage and mobilize God’s people to approach the Almighty—not only for personal concerns, but also for the needs of the nation, leaders, and fellow citizens. As Dobson explains, “We envision an outpouring of God’s Spirit across the land in response to the millions of petitions that are raised heavenward on America’s behalf.”
The 2014 National Observance of the National Day of Prayer will be broadcast live from the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on the NDP website—Thursday, May 1, from 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (Eastern time). Speakers include the 2014 Honorary Chairman Anne Graham Lotz, Dr. James and Shirley Dobson, Congressman Robert Aderholt, Vonette Bright, The Honorable Bob McEwen, Congressman Mike McIntyre, Don Moen, Chaplain Father Patrick Conroy, Dr. Dick Eastman, David Butts, and John Bornschein.
For more information, go to nationaldayofprayer.org.