This Thursday, May 7th is the National Day of Prayer. Our nation began the tradition in 1775, when the Second Continental Congress called for a day of fasting and prayer at the beginning of the Revolutionary War. It certainly was a time of great calamity, disorder, economic turmoil, and fear of the future; much like what we have experienced throughout our history. That war was followed by the Civil War, two World Wars, decades of war in the Middle East, and now a war against a viral epidemic. As in all major crises, the people of this nation have turned to prayer, imploring God to assist us in our times of trouble.
Prayer is a natural reaction to our human condition. I would venture that even people who do not claim a relationship with the Most High God, have found themselves at one time or another, asking a Higher Power [than themselves] for help in a daunting situation. That solemn request for help is called prayer, by any other name.
There is no better example of the effect of national prayer than in the Book of Exodus when we read how “the Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of their slavery their cry for help rose up to God…and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” Exodus 2:25 says, "God saw the sons of Israel, and God took notice of them." That began thousands of years of a relationship between YHWH and the nation of Israel that would result with the offer of Salvation to the world, and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.
The Bible is full of stories of the power of prayer in manifesting God's will on earth. The prayer of King Hezekiah saved the nation of Israel from destruction by the Assyrians. Moses prays for the deliverance of the Israelites from God's wrath when His plan is to smite them all for worshiping the Golden calf. Zechariah, the priest, prays for a son, and his wife, Elizabeth, bears John the Baptist. The Virgin Mary prays a prayer of thanksgiving, joy, and praise for the honor of giving birth to the Son of God. And Jesus Christ gives us the gift of one of the most powerful prayers for all mankind, the Lord's Prayer.
Prayer is one of the keys that unlocks our power and authority
-- power that Jesus intended for us to release on the earth
to see the Father's will done, "as it is in Heaven".
When Jesus declares that He will build His Ekklesia [as a governing body of Believers to execute Heaven's government on earth] and the gates of Hades [hell's governing power] would not prevail against it, He backs that up by saying, "I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven, and whatever you bind [prohibit] on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit] on earth shall be loosed in heaven."
Read that again! The authority of Heaven stands behind us! The keys to the Kingdom are principles given to all who are born again into the Kingdom as citizens; principles to rule and reign until the return of our King. These keys unlock our power and authority, and provide access to the Kingdom of Heaven. And that access is initiated through Scripture. So, if prayer is one of the keys to gaining access to that power to bind and loose, and to rule and reign, then some of the most powerful prayers we can pray should include Scripture! (See below to join my in scriptural prayer).
There is no doubt that our nation is in desperate need of prayer by her citizens. Even in the midst of a great spiritual and secular awakening among all Americans, we are assailed on all sides by an insidious virus; growing unemployment; a precarious economy; global threats of war; and secret and vindictive machinations by enemies foreign and domestic upon our government and way of life.
We need to approach this coming National Day of Prayer with united hearts and in solemn and humble repentance for our personal and national iniquity; asking our Lord and Savior to intervene on behalf of all others who are seeking His Kingdom in obedience and faith. He has given us righteous Prayer, one of the keys to the Kingdom, and in the powerful words of theologian Charles Spurgeon, "The Lord continues to back up the teaching and acts of His servants, and as long as we abide rightly in Him, we have His sanction to make them valid. The words of His servants, spoken in His Name, shall be confirmed by the Lord, and shall not be, either as to promise or threatening, a mere piece of rhetoric." Let us walk in the power of His Word expressed in prayer! Hallelujah, that we possess one of the most powerful keys to the Kingdom of Heaven!
Will you join me in this prayer for our National Day of Prayer [taken from the Psalms]? Father in Heaven, we come before Your throne asking for compassion and mercy upon each one of us and upon our nation. Forgive the full extent of our rebellious ways. We know our sins, transgressions and iniquities have led us to this bondage. We repent of not believing Your promises and for straying from Your righteous path. Like spoiled children, we have sought our own desires, and refused to trust in Your wisdom, thinking ourselves above Your counsel and guidance. We have not acknowledged Your miracles and powers that have brought us all this far. We have refused to love You with all our hearts, and we have tested Your patience. We are overcome by our sins against You.
So, Father, we humbly submit and surrender ourselves to You, asking for Your forgiveness and grace. We ask that You cleanse our spirits and turn our hearts back to You. You are our righteous God who helps us like a Father. Here us in our time of distress as we bless Your Holy Name! Arise, Lord! Deliver us, our God! Strike all our enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked. You sit enthroned over this world and we ask that you site enthroned over this nation once again, Lord! Be enthroned as our King forever! Lord, give strength to endure what is coming against us, Your people, and bless us with Your peace and Your enduring Love! We thank you that You have given us this mighty Key to Your Kingdom, and we loose all of Heaven's blessings upon this nation and we return her to You! Amen!
If you desire to know more about the Keys to the Kingdom, please order my newly released book, "Through A Kingdom Lens: Rediscovering What The Church Lost".