Take time to pray on Thursday

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 3, 2005

&uot;If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.&uot; II Chronicles 7:14

Prayer is a much needed thing for people. Just as we need food for the physical health and wellbeing of our bodies, we need prayer for the spiritual well being of our hearts and souls. Thursday, May 5 is the National Day of Prayer.

The first call to prayer came in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the people of the colonies to pray and seek wisdom in forming a nation – our nation. God was good and answered their prayers.

President Lincoln crafted a proclamation calling for a day of prayer and fasting for our nation and President Truman signed a joint resolution by Congress to declare it an annual event. President Ronald Reagan later officially declared the first Thursday in May as the permanent National Day of Prayer.

With all the national debate about how much &uot;religion&uot; should be allowed in government, I find it interesting and refreshing that last year, governors of all 50 states signed proclamations honoring the sacred traditional day of prayer that has become so much a part of our heritage.

Our nation was founded on God, which is unquestionably evidenced in the quotes of some of the forefathers of our country.

Patrick Henry said, &uot;Our country was founded on the gospel of Jesus Christ.&uot;

James Madison said, &uot;We have staked our future on our ability to follow the 10 commandments with all our hearts.&uot;

Thomas Jefferson said, &uot;The Bible is the cornerstone for American liberty.&uot;

When the Continental Congress came to a crossroads, it was Benjamin Franklin who asked them to fall on their knees and pray for guidance. I have always found it interesting that the 12 disciples who followed Jesus saw him perform great miracles. But the only thing they ever asked him to teach them was how to pray. They didn’t want to know how to heal the lame, raise the dead, cause the blind to see or turn water into wine – they only wanted to know how to pray.

That alone should illustrate to us the significance of the power of prayer.

The Bible says, &uot;Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I shall be also.&uot; Obviously he was at last year’s event because a reported 2 million people attended more than 40,000 services across America to honor the National Day of Prayer.

Obviously, prayer unites and does not divide. It brings people out in multitudes.

On Thursday, please stop and take a moment to pray for our nation, our military troops and their families and the further safety and security of our country. Pray for God to bestow wisdom on our leaders so they may have the same foresight that our forefathers did when they placed God at the helm their lives, our government and our country.

By observing the National Day of Prayer, we are committing ourselves to keep God at the forefront of our nation – not just because of the past but for the present and the future as well.

Now, let us pray.

Beth Chapman serves as Alabama’s state auditor. She resides with her husband, James, and her sons, Taylor and Thatcher, in North Shelby County