The 66th annual National Day of Prayer, May 4, 2017, will have profound significance for our country. It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne.
Our theme this year is For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us… Forgive Us…Heal Us! Taken from Daniel 9:19, which says, “O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your Sake, O My God…”.
History of the National Day of Prayer
1952: On April 17 a bill initiated by Mr. Conrad Hilton of Hilton Hotels and Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas was passed (Public Law 82-324) that the President of the United States was to set aside an appropriate day each year, other than Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer.
1987: Senator Thurmond writes the bill then introduces it to the Senate Judicial Committee. It became bill S.1378, which would amend public law 82-324.
1988: Thursday, May 8 – Ronald Reagan signs into law Public Law 100-307 the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.
1998: Pub. L. 105-225, August 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1258: The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals. This law was signed by President Clinton.
For more information on the National Day of Prayer, go to http://nationaldayofprayer.org/.
(Note: This prayer guide is designed to allow the Scriptures to guide our prayer. Almost all of the verses are taken from prayers in the Bible. The guide is broken into four categories with numerous suggestions for what to pray for in each grouping.)
Creator – Nehemiah 9:6
“You are the Lord, you alone. You have made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them; and you preserve all of them; and the host of heaven worships you.
Almighty – Psalm 89:8
O Lord God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O Lord, with your faithfulness all around you?
Deliverance – 2 Samuel 22:2–4
He said, “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
Majesty – Jude 25
to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Confess personal sin – Psalm 51:4
Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
Confess national sin – Ezra 9:6
“O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift my face to you, my God, for our iniquities have risen higher than our heads, and our guilt has mounted up to the heavens.
Confess corporate sin – Nehemiah 1:7
We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses.
For forgiveness – Nehemiah 9:17b
But you are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, and did not forsake them.
For God’s love – 1 Chronicles 16:34
Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!
For answered prayer – Psalm 116:1–2
I love the Lord, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy. Because he inclined his ear to me, therefore I will call on him as long as I live.
Greater hunger for God – Psalm 42:1
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
Salvation – Romans 10:1
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.
Maturity – Colossians 4:12
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
Spiritual insight – Ephesians 1:18
having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
Spiritual power – Ephesians 3:16
that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
Protection from temptation – Matthew 6:13
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Preachers, evangelists – Ephesians 6:19
and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel,
Worry – Philippians 4:6
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Wisdom – James 1:5
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.
Basic needs – Matthew 6:11
Give us this day our daily bread,
Knowledge of God’s direction – Colossians 1:9
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Outreach – 2 Thessalonians 3:1
Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you,
Government leaders – 1 Timothy 2:1-4
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Love may abound – Philippians 1:9
And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,
30 Ways to Pray for People in Authority
Scripture instructs us to pray for all in authority (1 Timothy 2:1-2), but how do we do that, exactly? Here are 30 ways to pray for our leaders—our judges, educators, police chiefs, school board members, military officers, elected officials, and others who serve our country by leading.
- That they be God-fearing and recognize that they are accountable to Him for each decision and act. (Proverbs 9:10)
- That they be granted wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. (James 1:5)
- That they be presented with the gospel and loving Christian witness. (Romans 10:14)
- That, if unsaved, they be drawn to a saving encounter with Christ; if born-again, that they be strengthened and encouraged in their faith. (1 Timothy 2:4; Ephesians 1:17-23)
- That they recognize their own inadequacy and pray and seek the will of God. (Proverbs 3:5-8; Luke 11:9-13)
- That they be convicted of sin, transgression, and iniquity. (Psalm 51:17; John 8:9)
- That they heed their conscience, confess their sins and repent. (Proverbs 28:13; James 4:8)
- That they read the Bible and attend prayer meetings and Bible studies. (Psalms 119:11; Colossians 3:2)
- That they value and regard the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Christ. (Psalm 19:7-11; John 8:31-32)
- That they respect and honor their own parents if living. (Ephesians 6:2-3)
- That they respect authority and practice accountability. (Romans 13:1-7)
- That they be given godly counsel and God-fearing advisors. (Proverbs 24:6)
- That they be honest and faithful to spouses and children. (Malachi 2:15-16)
- That they be practicing members of local congregations. (Hebrews 10:25)
- That they desire purity and avoid debauchery, pornography, perversion and drunkenness. (1 Corinthians 6:9-20; Titus 2:12)
- That they be timely, reliable and dependable. (Matthew 21:28-31)
- That they be honest in financial, tax and ethical matters. (1 Corinthians 6:10; 1 Timothy 6:6-10)
- That they seek pastoral care and counsel when needed. (Hebrews 13:7)
- That they seek out and nurture godly friendships. (Psalms 1:1-13)
- That they have thankful and teachable spirits. (Romans 1:21)
- That they be generous and have compassionate hearts for the poor and needy. (Psalm 112:9; Luke 10:33-37)
- That they redeem their time and know priorities. (Ephesians 5:15-17)
- That they desire honest, integrity, and loyalty. (Psalm 26; Proverbs 11:3)
- That they have courage to resist manipulation, pressure and the fear of man. (Proverbs 29:25; 2 Timothy 1:7)
- That they be shielded from occultism, New Age cults, false religions, and secret societies. (Isaiah 1:29; 2:6)
- That they be presented with biblical worldviews and principles. (Ephesians 3:10)
- That they endeavor to restore the sanctity of life, families, divine order and morality in our nation. (Ephesians 5:22-6:4)
- That they would work to reverse the trends of humanism in our nation. (1 Chronicles 12:32; Isaiah 59:19)
- That they desire humility and meekness and be willing to serve and cooperate. (John 13:14; Titus 3:1-2)
- That they be prepared to give an account to Almighty God. (Hebrews 9:27)
 Compiled by Gary Bergel, former president of Intercessors for America. GetamericaPraying.com, IFAPRAY.ORG