“In His name the nations will put their hope.”
~ Matthew 12:21 ~
Today marks the 61st observance of the National Day of Prayer. Instituted in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, this annual observance has fallen on the first Thursday of every May since 1988. This day honors the custom that our founders embraced as they birthed this nation, turning their hearts towards God. Each year, this day is one of humility and reverence, crying out to the Lord for his wisdom and guidance upon the United States.
Why It’s Important For Those We Serve
In an age where much confusion surrounds disability, public perception, and government programs, prayer is essential in the lives of our community. Our leaders need our support asking for discernment, wisdom and compassion in their dealings, especially as concerns those with unique challenges. No matter what side of the political aisle a person prefers, I think we can all agree that local, state and federal governments need supplication for a spirit of unity and cooperation in problem-solving.
Love and acceptance of those with special needs is still greatly lacking. We can encourage both our participants and those who serve them to be praying for our nation to reflect God’s glory in how we love his least and lost. What a worthy pursuit to request the Lord’s help in making us the envy of the world by elevating how we treat one another as fellow citizens.
Beyond the Theme
While each year the National Day of Prayer has a theme to it, this remarkable day has wider implications that a mere 24 hours out of 365 days. If you have ever attended a local event on this occasion, it is a remarkable experience. This should prompt us to come together in prayer more often. Observing the National Day of Prayer with those you lead and serve can be a springboard to helping them develop a deeper habit of prayer. Using this event as an opportunity, if not this year, then next, to walk your adherents through a study of growth in prayer makes tremendous sense. Friendship Ministries has several studies on prayer that are helpful to those with cognitive challenges. Another helpful resource might be a book like Praying Through the Tough Times by Lloyd John Ogilvie. Whatever the tool, we will never be left with regret in teaching and prompting others to pray. When we model and practice talking to God in friendship and humble awe, we leave permanent blessings with those whose lives we touch.
Frankly, I cannot see how we can survive the special needs life without friendship and conversation with God. That only comes through growing the habit of spending regular time in His Word and prayer. It should be our constant to pursuit to grow this relationship, in all its forms, with those we shepherd and guide.