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


A Prayer For America – National Day of Prayer 2013

On this National Day of Prayer, please join American Psalms in praying for the nation. The prayer below is also included in our FREE Prayer Guide, which is perfect to print for use with your small group, NDOP gathering, Prayer Ministry or personal devotions.

We also have a wonderful offer on the Kindle and Nook editions of our devotional book, American Psalms: Prayers for the Christian Patriot. Bulk discounts are also available for the print edition. Click Here for more information.
To learn more about the National Day of Prayer and read quotes by American Presidents, Click Here.


The Praying Eagle

The Praying Eagle

by Joshua J Masters

Father God,
You are great and worthy of praise.1 You have
promised to heal our land if we humble ourselves
before you,2 and today we do so in a special day of
prayer. You have blessed this nation and bestowed
freedom upon America. But we recognize that true
freedom, eternal freedom, cannot be granted by any
government, but by the Lamb of God alone:

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand
firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened
again by a yoke of slavery.3

I thank you for the liberty and freedom you have
bestowed on the United States. I lift up my president
and his staff to you. May the Holy Spirit give them
the gifts of both leadership and servitude.4
I pray for them to be encouraged and strengthened through a
relationship with you. I also ask your blessing on
American troops serving away from their loved ones,
and for your comforting hand to be on the families
awaiting their safe return.

Give us the strength to stand with our allies, but the
will to stand alone with You when necessary.
Through seeking your will, may our sovereignty be a
light to other nations and a hope to those in need.
Above all, teach us to be a nation dedicated to your
Word. Teach us to pray for our leaders5
and seek your face. Teach us to pray for repentance as our
forefathers did, and may we never be a Christian
nation by mere proclamation, but through our
actions, mercy and compassion.

(1) Psalm 145:3 2  (2) Chronicles 7:14 (3) Galatians 5:1
(4) Romans 12:5-8 (5) 1 Timothy 2:1-2



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© Joshua J. Masters and American Psalms, 2013.

Eagle photo by Andy_Emcee. Photograph licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution license.

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.