Faith Time: National Day of Prayer 2017

national day of prayer

Mobile, AL (WKRG)

Chad:  Joining me is Shree Shaw Lovett, Alabama State Coordinator with the National Day of Prayer Task Force.  Thanks for joining us ma’am.  The National Day of Prayer is this Thursday.  What is that?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  The National Day of Prayer (NDP) is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.  It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman.  1988 The law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, designating the NDP as the first Thursday in May.

This is the 66th Annual National Observance May 4.  The 2017 theme was chosen by our chairman Anne Graham Lotz,  “For Your Great Name’s Sake!  Hear Us… Forgive Us… Heal us!”  Taken from Daniel 9:19.

Chad: How will it be observed?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  Thousands of individuals, churches, and communities are working to rally millions of Christian’s to once again heed the call to pray for our nation.  Just to name a few, prayer breakfast, prayer walks, bible marathons, stadium events, neighborhood events, state capitols & courthouse, city hall events.  Many observances have already taken place.  In our city and surrounding areas, NDP joins forces with the Canopy of Prayer on April 29, where thousands of our neighbors walked outside their doors and prayed over their streets.

Chad: What is the value of prayer?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  I can think of four values:

  1. We are invited and commanded to pray because God loves us and desires a relationship with us. When He calls us to something we are to respond as the prophet Isaiah did,  “here am I.” (Isaiah) 6:8
  2. Responding to God in prayer is not only an act of obedience, it is also an act of honor given to the One who gave His all for us.
  3. Jesus Prayed!  Prayer was a regular part of the Lord’s daily life and it is to be part of ours also.
  4. Prayer makes a difference. I can’t tell you how it “works”… I know that circumstance change when people pray.  Diseases are sometimes healed, strength is imparted, guidance is given, hearts are softened, needs are met.  That’s the value of prayer.

Chad: How can prayer change God’s mind?  Is that possible?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  Scripture describes God’s character as unchanging (Mal 3:6), but it never teaches that God is unable to change in any respect(e.g., his intentions, experiences)… And it teaches that God sometimes chooses not to change His mind, but never that He cannot change His mind.  I believe the earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. (James 5:16).

We know in scripture some prayers of God’s people in the Bible did influence His decisions.  For example, in Exodus God answered Moses’ prayers with mercy and chose not to bring about the destruction He had threatened to the Israelites. Chad, the more I study the character and actions of God throughout the Bible, the more I believe it demonstrates that God changes His mind and plans in response to the prayers of His people as He sees fit.

Chad:  What are good things to pray for?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  On our national website we have a 7X7 Prayer Guide:  Families, The Body of Christ, Government, Military Forces-1st Responders, Education, Businesses, Media-Entertainment.

Chad:  What do you want people to learn this week?

Shree Shaw Lovett:  When we come together as one in unity with one mind calling on the name Jesus. He will Hear Us… Forgive Us… & Heal Us…

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