Many people get discouraged in prayer not because they are unwilling to pray but because they aren’t sure what to pray.
For example, you want to pray for a family member, but your prayers end up all sounding the same: “Bless them, Lord.” That’s often as good a prayer as any, but it can leave you wondering if you’ve prayed as well as you’d like.
Or you feel a burden for your church or neighborhood—or even your nation—but you find it difficult to think and pray specifically. You end up mumbling a few words without much feeling.
That’s one reason the theme of this year’s 64th annual National Day of Prayer on May 7 resonates with me. The 2015 theme is “Lord, Hear Our Cry,” based on 1 Kings 8:28 (“Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day”).
The planners of the event emphasize “the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men.”
The National Day of Prayer website includes event ideas, resources and a special prayer written by 2015 Honorary Chairman Dr. Jack Graham for participants to pray simultaneously around the nation at noon on May 7.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is also partnering with GOD TV to broadcast this year’s 9 a.m. to noon EST event, making it available to millions of viewers in more than 100 countries around the world (the program will also be broadcast on DirecTV channel 365 and streamed live on the National Day of Prayer website.
The National Day of Prayer emphasis is based on a well-proven prayer technique that is particularly helpful when you’re not sure what to pray: Pray the character and attributes of God for whatever or whomever you are led to pray.
For example, when you pray for your nation and its leaders on May 7, you might say something like, “God, you are a God of love and compassion; please make this nation loving and compassionate, especially towards the helpless and the unfortunate.”
Or you might say, “God, you are wise and your understanding has no limit (Psalm 147:5); please give this nation’s leaders wisdom and understanding in every decision they make and direction they choose.”
Regardless of your political leanings or loyalties, you can always feel confident that you are praying wisely and biblically when you pray the character and attributes of God for any person, group, nation or situation. And it’s a fitting way to observe the National Day of Prayer in your home, church, and community.