The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer will be held Thursday, in the First Baptist Church sanctuary at noon. This year's theme is "One Voice, United in Prayer" and is highlighted by this year's chosen scripture Romans 15:6: "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." The Rev. Leland Crawford, pastor of First Baptist Church, invites the community to this special time to pray individually and corporately for our nation.
Shirley Dobson, chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force since 1991, encourages communities and people of all faiths to pray for our nation. The National Day of Prayer Task Force's goal for this event is that participants "would move from a one day event to a lifetime endeavor" in praying for our nation.
Dobson is an internationally recognized speaker, leader of women's ministries, bestselling author, and a co-author with Gloria Gaither on a four-book series for families entitled: "Making Ordinary Days Extraordinary", "Creating Family Traditions", "Celebrating Special Times with Special People," and "Hide It in Your Heart." She is the wife of Dr. James Dobson, founder of Family Talk.
Anne Graham-Lotz, founder and president of AnGel Ministries, serves as the year's honorary chairperson for the event. Named one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation by the New York Times, Graham-Lotz speaks around the world. Her message is "to bring revival to the hearts of God's people...calling people into a personal relationship with God through His word."
Her father, the Rev. Billy Graham, calls her 'the best preacher in the family." Graham-Lotz has been profiled by 60 Minutes, appeared on TV Programs such as "Larry King Live", "The Today Show", and "Hannity Live," and is a bestselling and award-winning author. Her most recent books include: "Fixing My Eyes on Jesus," "Expecting to See Jesus," and a children's book, "Heaven: God's Promise." She is married to Danny Lotz and has three grown children and three grandchildren.
For the National Day of Prayer, Graham-Lotz has written a special Prayer for our nation which can be found on the National Day of Prayer website.
Dobson says God's people need an urgent wake-up call to pray and "cannot become complacent" in upholding the biblical truths that are "the very framework upon which our beloved country was established.
The continuing moral decline in our nation... is a troubling indicator that the most fundamental pillars of our society are hanging in the balance."
She says that "we have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have fallen asleep. I feel if we do not support the National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too."
On preserving morality, Daniel Webster said: "To preserve the government we must also preserve morals. Morality rests on religion; if you destroy the foundation, the superstructure will fall. When the public mind becomes vitiated and corrupt, laws are a nullity and constitutions are waste paper."
The Rev. Crawford says "Historically, our nation was founded upon Biblical principles as found in the Christian faith, and we have prospered as no other nation. If we lose our Biblical foundations and our Christian identity, can we really continue to be a blessed, free nation? I don't believe that we can. We must get on our knees again and cry out to a God who is bigger than us, recognizing that we need His Word and His influence in our nation once again."
The Rev. Crawford encourages all to pray and those who can and will to attend this special time in the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church. A light lunch will be served immediately afterwards.
2 Chronicles 7:14 "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 I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land."