Praying on the National Day of Prayer (Thoughts from American Presidents)

“The Prayer at Valley Forge” by Arnold Friberg

Today is the National Day of Prayer, and it is important to remember the role prayer has played in American History. As we consider the Patriot Quotes below, be sure to find a National Day of Prayer event near you and participate. Also, be sure to read A Prayer for America and download our FREE Prayer Guide. Also, today is the last day for the special offer on Kindle and Nook editions of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot (also available in print edition). Check it out here.

The National Day of Prayer is unique because it’s the one day that our government asks us to pray. It is the one day that the highest authority in our land gives specific prayer requests. What a great witness to the world (and to our government officials) it would be if they see God respond to the prayer requests of our president because Christian Patriots were willing to humble themselves to the authority of our nation and the authority of Heaven on the same day! In his 2013 National Day of Prayer Proclamation  President Obama has made some very specific prayer requests for the nation:

“On this day, let us remember in our thoughts and prayers all those affected by recent events, such as the Boston Marathon bombings, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, and the explosion in West, Texas. Let us pray for the police officers, firefighters, and other first responders who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their fellow Americans. Let us also pray for the safety of our brave men and women in uniform and their families who serve and sacrifice for our country. Let us come together to pray for peace and goodwill today and in the days ahead as we work to meet the great challenges of our time.”  [Read President Obama’s full NDOP Proclomation]

Although the National Day of Prayer did not become an annual event until 1952 when President Truman signed a joint resolution of Congress, the idea of a National Day of Prayer and Fasting has actually existed longer than the nation itself. In 1775 the Continental Congress petitioned the people to pray as we formed our new country. Since then, many presidents have called the people of America to pray for the nation.

Here are a few Patriot Quotes to inspire you during today’s National Day of Prayer gatherings:

The Prayer at Valley Forge

Washington’s Prayer at Valley Forge, 
engraving by John C. McRae

There’s a great deal we can learn from George Washington’s personal prayer life, but he also made several declarations of national prayer and thanksgiving including this proclamation on January 1, 1795:

“It is in an especial manner our duty as a people, with devout reverence and affectionate gratitude, to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God, and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experienced.”

John Adams also called for a national day of prayer and fasting March 6, 1799:

“I have thought proper to recommend, and I hereby recommend accordingly, that Thursday, the twenty-fifth day of April next, be observed throughout the United States of America as a day of solemn humiliation, fasting and prayer; that the citizens on that day abstain, as far as may be, from their secular occupation, and devote the time to the sacred duties of religion, in public and in private; that they call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgressions, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience to his righteous requisitions in time to come; that He would interpose to arrest the progress of that impiety and licentiousness in principle and practice so offensive to Himself and so ruinous to mankind; that He would make us deeply sensible that ‘righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people’ (Proverbs 14:34)”

After the Union Army was defeated at the Battle of Bull Run, President Lincoln declared a National Day of Prayer and Fasting September 26, 1861, saying:

“It is fit and becoming in all people, at all times, to acknowledge and revere the Supreme Government of God; to bow in humble submission to his chastisement; to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and to pray, with all fervency and contrition, for the pardon of their past offenses, and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action…”

Two months after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Abraham Lincoln called for another day of national prayer. His proclamation began:

“Whereas, the Senate of the United States devoutly recognizing the Supreme Authority and just government of Almighty God in all the affairs of men and of nations, has, by resolution, requested the President to designate and set apart a day for national prayer and humiliation…”

There are many more examples of our forefathers petitioning the nation for prayer. What’s important to remember from these brief examples is the importance prayer has played in the blessing of our nation. As we prepare to call out to God in one Christian voice tomorrow, pray for the healing of our nation and the wisdom of our leaders.

What activities do you have planned for the National Day of Prayer? How will you be praying for our nation?


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© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2012.
Quotes Source: America’s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations by William J. Federer, 
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Public Domain Collection


National Day of Prayer – Special Offers

American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot
Save 77% on the Kindle and Nook Editions until the National Day of Prayer

American Psalms challenges Christian patriots to put aside personal agendas… and pray for our leaders as God commands.”
-Gov. Mike Huckabee, author of A Simple Government 

american_psalms_front_coverSPECIAL OFFER NOW THROUGH MAY 2: The softcoverKindle and NOOK editions of American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot are regularly available, but  for a limited time the e-book editions are available for only $2.99 each (77% off the cover price). This offer is available from April 25-May 2 in honor of the National Day of Prayer.  Simply follow these links to download the book for any Kindle or NOOK device/app. Praying for our country has never been more important. Please consider making a commitment to praying for America over the next year, and help us spread the word about this offer.nook

This prayer guide is perfect for your Prayer Ministry, National Day of Prayer gathering, Small Group or Personal devotions.

Steeped in American history with a strong biblical foundation, American Psalms takes the reader on a one-year journey of spiritual growth with weekly prayers for the nation, psalms for special days of prayers, relevant teachings to enhance your perspective and PDF worksheet downloads designed to promote prayer for America’s leaders. With prayers spanning subjects from our troops to the presidency, from NASA to the fishing industry, and from the economy to our children’s teachers, American Psalms covers nearly every aspect of American society with scripture-based prayer while teaching the reader how to regularly pray for our nation without political bias. This book will renew your heart for the nation that gives personal liberty and the God who gives eternal freedom.

Free Prayer Guide from American Psalms



In addition to our devotional book offer below, American Psalms also offers a FREE PRAYER GUIDE for use by your church, prayer ministry or in your personal devotions. Click here to learn more.


“…American Psalms, is tremendous! It is an uplifting, faith-filled treasury of inspiring prayers, solidly based in Scripture—‘an answer to prayer’ for our country at this critical time.”  [more]
-William J. Federer, nationally known speaker, best selling author of America‘s God and Country Encyclopedia of Quotations

American Psalms is a concise prayer guide for those who are new to intercession as well as those who are seasoned prayer leaders. In addition to motivating readers to pray for all aspects of our nation, this resource provides strategic prayer points and handy worksheets. This is a useful tool for all prayer leaders.”
-Mary Bruce, National Day of Prayer Northeast National Area Leader


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© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.

URGENT PRAYER needed for those in Boston

URGENT PRAYER REQUEST: Please join American Psalms in prayer. There is very little information right now, but there have been two explosions at the finish line of the Boston Marathon with dozens of serious injuries. We do not have any additional information as to the cause or injuries, but clearly prayer is needed at this hour. 

Prayer Needed Today for Continued Tensions with North Korea

Prayer Point: Tensions on a North Korean Holiday

North Korean troops pay tribute to the Kim statues in Pyongyang, April 2012.

North Korean troops pay tribute to the Kim statues in Pyongyang, April 2012.

With tensions continuing to rise between North Korea and the Republic of Korea in the South, we especially need to be in prayer today. For those who have followed North Korea’s M.O. in the past, you know they have a tendency to make aggressive military moves on days of historical importance to them. Since today is the birthday of Kim Jong Un’s grandfather (who they consider their “eternal president” and a diety) their actions will be unpredictable. This could be a difficult day, and we want to be sure we keep our allies in prayer. The United States has sent ships and planes to the area. You may remember at the end of March North Korean state-run media released information indicating that Kim Jong Un had placed his nation’s missiles on combat-ready status in response to the United States cooperating with South Korea on military training. Their government-run television station also showed a U.S. Strike Plan in which they threaten to attack Hawaii, Los Angeles, Austin and Washington. As tensions continue to rise between North and South Korea, and Kim Jong Un threatens to “settle accounts with the U.S.”, we must be in prayer for our Administration and specifically for our Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel. We should also be in prayer for Secretary of State John Kerry as he meets with our allies in the Republic of Korea as well as surrounding countries like China. Pray also for our friends in the Republic of Korea and their president, Park Geun-hye.

For those using our weekly devotional, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot, there’s a prayer for the Secretary of Defense on page 63 and for the Secretary of State on page 61 (Also available on Kindle).


Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.

Image by Tormod Sandtorv, Flickr Commons.

Praying for our Military Chaplains as a Hero is Recognized

Prayer Point: Praying for our Chaplains


Chaplain Kapaun (right) helps pull an injured soldier off the battlefield.

Later today President Obama will posthumously award the Medal of Honor to an incredible man of selflessness named Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Joseph Kapaun.    The brave Army Chaplain served in both World War II and Korea. Chaplain Kapaun exemplified what it meant to serve—he served his God, his country and especially his fellow soldiers. In November 1950, Kapaun was taken as a prisoner of war along with hundreds of other soldiers. The Chaplain put himself at great personal risk, but  moved under the cover of night to offer prayer and encouragement to the his fellow POW inmates. He also organized able-bodied soldiers to sneak out of the camp to steal food and firewood at night, saving many of the captives. Before he died in the POW camp, the men he had saved watched Chaplain Kapaun bless and forgive his captors. Mike Dowe, a young Lieutenant at the time, reported that when he began to cry at the Chaplain’s side Kapaun said,  “Hey, Mike, don’t worry about me. I’m going to where I always wanted to go and I’ll say a prayer for all of you.”

We often talk about praying for our soldiers; we even talk about praying for our pastors. Let us not forget that there are men and women out there serving as both. Our military chaplains put themselves in harms way to bring the gospel of peace to men who only see war. They bring hope into areas surrounded by hopelessness, and they bring comfort where there is only fear. Please consider adding our chaplains to your prayer list.  Here is a list of the current commanding chaplains:

Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kapaun

Chaplain (Captain) Emil Kapaun

Executive Director,
Armed Forces Chaplain Board:
Chaplain Colonel Jerry P. Pitts
Army Chief of Chaplains: 
Chaplain Maj. Gen. Donald L. Rutherford
Air Force Chief of Chaplains: 
Chaplain Maj. Gen. Howard Stendahl
Navy Chief of Chaplains:  
Chaplain Rear Admiral Mark Tidd
Marine Corps Chaplain:
Chaplain Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben
Coast Guard Chaplain:
Chaplain Captain Gary P. Weeden



For those using our weekly devotional, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot, you may also want to consider A Prayer for America’s Pastors on page 49 and A Call to Workers in the Harvest on page 53 (Also for  Kindle and NOOK).


Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.
Story Sources: U.S. Army and Fox News
Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Free Prayer Guide from American Psalms

Free Prayer Guide from American PsalmsThe countdown to the National Day of Prayer has started. Are you ready to start praying for the leaders of our country?

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

Regardless of your political views, God calls each of us to pray for those in authority over us.  American Psalms and Kingdom Knight Productions believe it’s important to pray for our leaders by name. That’s why—in addition to our devotional book on praying for the nation, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot (Available in PrintKindle and Nook formats)—Kingdom Knight Productions offers a free Prayer Guide for use in your Prayer Ministry, National Day of Prayer gathering, small group or personal devotions. It includes Prayer Points, Scriptures and the names of individuals you can be praying for in our nation. As positions change in our government this guide will be updated, so check back when you need new copies. Please contact us if your organization has questions or would like bulk discounts on copies of our book for your National Day of Prayer event.


Please be sure to share this guide with your church leaders and friends.
Read the full Conditions of Use on the download page and thank you for your willingness to pray for our nation.

Please see the Condition of Use for this blog.
© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.

Prayers for the family of U.S. Diplomat Anne Smedinghoff

Prayer Point:

We at American Psalms and Kingdom Knight Productions join Secretary of State Kerry in mourning the death of Anne Smedinghoff. The 25-year-old U.S. Diplomat was killed by a suicide bomber while bringing books to a school in Afghanistan yesterday. Please join us in praying for her family and friends. We are specifically in prayer for her parents, Tom & Mary Beth Smedinghoff.