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National Day of Prayer: May God 'shield us from harm' and 'heal our land' as we 'turn from sin'

The National Day of Prayer is today, May 4, 2023, when the nation’s faithful renew prayer lives, turn to God with heartfelt requests for this country and also give thanks for all we have as Americans, faith leaders say.

Jason Yates, Colorado-based CEO of My Faith Votes, a non-partisan movement that activates Christians to vote in elections, shared his prayer with Fox News Digital for this prayer occasion.

“Dear Lord, we come before you today to lift our beloved nation. We pray for your wisdom and guidance for our leaders, that they may make decisions that honor you, align with your will and promote righteousness,” he said.

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“We pray for our fellow citizens, that they would recognize your sovereignty, humble themselves and turn from sin, so that you will heal our land as you have promised,” he continued.

“Help us to love our neighbors as ourselves, to show compassion to the vulnerable and to seek the well-being of all,” Yates also said.

split, prayer and the American flag

“We pray for our fellow citizens, that they would recognize your sovereignty, humble themselves and turn from sin, so that you will heal our land as you have promised,” said the CEO of My Faith Votes, Jason Yates, on the National Day of Prayer. (iStock)

“We pray for your protection over our country, our people and our institutions. We ask that you shield us from harm, both from external threats and from the sins and temptations that undermine our society,” he continued.

“Above all, we pray that your love and grace would be evident in your people and our nation, that we may be a shining light to the world and a beacon of hope and peace,” he said. “We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Author and pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii shared a video on Twitter on May 4 as he walked the grounds of Mt. Vernon, the home of President George Washington

“Please remember to pray for America today,” Laurie said, in part, in the video. 

Referencing George Washington, he added, “He believed it was the Lord himself who directed him.” 

Laurie then quoted the first president of the United States, saying, “To the distinguished character of patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

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Laurie continued, “Our nation is in trouble now; we have so veered from the distinguished character of Christian, if you will.”

He also said, “We have forgotten these roots that this nation was built on, the soil of liberty. It’s time to us to really pray for our nation; that we would return to the Lord again.”

george washington portrait

Above, George Washington portrait painting by Constable-Hamilton, 1794, from the New York Public Library. George Washington hoped Americans would display Christian character, as pastor and author Greg Laurie noted. (Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Referencing 2 Chronicles 7:14, Laurie said, “America needs to be healed; but that’s God’s part. He says, ‘I’ll forgive your sins, I’ll heal your land.’”

He also said, “Here’s our part – [and this is] God speaking – ‘You need to humble yourself and turn from your wicked ways and pray.’”

Laurie continued, “That’s what this day is all about; to pray for our nation … Let it start with you, and let it start with me, as we pray for America today.”

“Jesus knew how easily we can be distracted, discouraged or complacent, spiritually.”

Pastor Jesse Bradley of Grace Community Church in Auburn, Washington, noted what is woven deep into the fabric of our country’s history: Americans “have been intentional about seeking God.” 

He told Fox News Digital, “America needs prayer because America needs God. Our spiritual lives set the tone for every other aspect of our communities, culture and country.”

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He continued, “Prayer is relational; it is a conversation with the living God. It is not a box to check on the to-do list, a formula, a superstition or a mechanical ritual.” 

He also said, “Prayer is not a performance, or manipulative. Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you.” 

prayer hands

Prayer is powerful because “God is gracious,” said Pastor Jesse Bradley of Washington. (iStock)

He also said, “Father God has a throne of grace, Jesus lives to interceded for us at the right hand of the Father and the Holy Spirit communicates our longings beyond the words we speak.”

Prayer is powerful because “God is gracious,” said Bradley.

“Prayer can change a nation, a city, a family and a hard heart. In the Bible, David was a king who prayed for the nation, wrote down his prayers and empowered people to pour out their hearts to God.”

Jesus told his disciples many times to “keep praying and don’t give up,” Bradley said. 

 “If we will only do this one thing, I hope it will not be too late to turn the tide of confusion and despair in which we now exist.”

“Jesus knew how easily we can be distracted, discouraged or complacent, spiritually.”

He also said, “The disciples literally fell asleep when He asked them to pray in the garden of Gethsemane. There is an ancient proverb: Much prayer, much power. No prayer, no power.”

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Bradley offered a way that we can pray for our nation, today and every day.

“There is an acronym: ACTS (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving and Supplication) that can provide a helpful framework,” he said. 

“The Lord’s prayer is another roadmap with prayer,” he noted. “Listening to God is another meaningful aspect of prayer.”

American Flag

“On this National Day of Prayer, my petition is that America will turn her heart and head to the God of the Bible,” said Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, based in Charlotte, North Carolina. (iStock)

Meditation is an “intentional focus with your mind” to think about “what is good, noble and pure,” he also said, noting Philippians 4:8 in the Bible.

“The goal is not to empty your mind, but fill it with inspiring content,” he added. 

“You can choose a Bible verse which will nourish your soul. Let the love and truth of God marinate and enjoy the depth of the experience. Renewing your mind will renew your words, attitudes and relationships.”

Judge Phil Ginn, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, told Fox News Digital via email on Thursday that we are in a time of urgent need for prayer.

“Perhaps at no other time since the turmoil our nation suffered in the run-up to — and the culmination of — the Civil War has our nation been in such need of prayer and divine intervention,” he said.

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“On this National Day of Prayer, my petition is that America will turn her heart and head to the God of the Bible,” he emphasized.

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Added Judge Ginn, “If we will only do this one thing, I hope it will not be too late to turn the tide of confusion and despair in which we now exist.”

Fox News Digital’s Maureen Mackey contributed reporting.

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