National religious leaders are issuing an impassioned call for spiritual rededication as America observes the 59th annual National Day of Prayer this Thursday. This year's Scriptural theme acknowledges the current economic and political tribulation facing our country: "The Lord is good, a
refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1:7)
"Prayer is the most powerful resource we have in this life, yet many of us only turn to it as a last resort," says Franklin Graham, Honorary Chairman of the 2010 National Day of Prayer. "Most of us lead busy lives. Yet if we wish to stay connected to our real Power Source, we must learn to put "self' on the sideline and put on Christ-- for it is only in His steps that we and our nation can walk with Him in victory."
This year's National Day of Prayer has taken on heightened attention with the recent ruling by a federal judge that formal establishment of the day by the U.S. Congress is
unconstitutional. President Obama has announced that he has instructed the U.S. Department of Justice to appeal that ruling. The ruling does not impact the efforts of the private National Day of Prayer Task Force which organizes the event every year.
Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the NDP Task Force, says that prayer is essential during this time of international conflict. "Thirty-four U.S. Presidents have called for prayer
during times of crisis...Our leaders knew that we desperately needed God's intervention during those very dark days. America is presently engulfed in bloody wars on two fronts, where our young men and women are fighting and dying for the cause of liberty. They need, and deserve, fervent prayers during this time of sacrifice."
Graham says that America must get serious about rebuilding its relationship with our Creator. "The heart of a nation cannot be connected to God if its people are far from Him. The reason America is in peril is because many of God's children have become passive about obeying His Word. We have some serious work ahead of us if we are to see
our beloved nation restored by the Hand of God."
The key to America's economic recovery and spiritual renewal, Graham says, is repentance. "We must ask God's forgiveness and turn on backs on tolerance of sin, so that future generations will know that God's blessed Hand has not been removed from our land. Let us pray as one that our Lord Jesus Christ will once again be exalted in the halls of government, in our sanctuaries of worship and in human hearts that need His healing touch."
The son of longtime evangelist Billy Graham, Franklin Graham is the President of Samaritan's Purse, the international relief organization which provides assistance in more than 100 countries around the world. Graham has become a focus of headlines in the secular press in the last
two weeks when the U.S. Army announced that they were rescinding their invitation for him to be the lead speaker at the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer observance.
Army officials stated that they were withdrawing his invitation to speak because of comments he has made about the Islamic religion, and his insistence that salvation is only possible through Jesus Christ. "We're an all-inclusive military," an Army spokesman said. It is worth noting that Samaritan's Purse has provided food, clothing, shoe boxes, and medical assistance to Muslim children around the world for decades.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, sharply criticized the Army's decision. "Franklin Graham is a man of courage and integrity whose deeply held convictions should not be a pretext for denying him the opportunity to share the Gospel." Perkins had been
disinvited to speak earlier this year at a prayer luncheon at Andrews Air Force Base because of his opposition to the repeal of the law prohibiting homosexuals from serving in the military.
"This decision is further evidence that the leadership of our nation's military has been impaired by the politically correct culture being advanced by this Administration. Under this Administration's watch, we are seeing the First Amendment, designed to protect the religious exercise of Americans, retooled into a sword to sever America's ties with orthodox Christianity."
Regardless of the political and cultural hostility of the day to Christian values and Biblical belief, it is important for us to keep our primary focus in the right place. While we should be aware of and engaged in issues involving our nation's governance of our lives, we must first and foremost stay centered on the governance of God in our lives. I close with yet another quote from Franklin Graham's National Day of Prayer statement.
"The Lord's heart is delighted to hear the praises of His People. When we acknowledge Him above all things, our
worries and our fears begin to pale in the light of His abundant love for us. This helps prepare our hearts to receive His word of rebuke or blessing; conviction or comfort." May we as
individuals and as a nation yield to His rebuke and conviction, and rejoice in His blessing and comfort.
We encourage you to participate in a National Day of Prayer event this Thursday in your community. The American Family Association is calling for Americans to
meet at their respective city halls from 12:20 to 12:40 this Thursday to join in corporate prayer for the nation and its leaders. You can find out more about National Day of Prayer events scheduled in various Missouri communities by clicking this link and typing in "Missouri" in the state box :
You can check out further resources for the National Day of Prayer by visiting their website through this link: