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Widespread prayer petitions God on behalf of nation, church, more

Pastor Jack Graham participates in the National Day of Prayer broadcast.

WASHINGTON (BP) – Christians petitioned God on the 72nd National Day of Prayer (NDP) in churches, public spaces, businesses and homes May 4, culminating with a national broadcast that has reached millions of households globally the past three years, organizers said.

In addition to the large national broadcast, organizers said, “tens of thousands of ‘in person’ events will be held by our National Day of Prayer Task Force volunteer coordinators, mobilizing millions more in communities in every state and U.S. territory.”

Several Southern Baptist churches hosted events during the day, with the SBC Executive Committee releasing a prayer guide.

Jack Graham, senior pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, was among leaders whose prayers anchored the national event, whose roots date to a 1775 Continental Congress proclamation for a day of prayer, and a U.S. Congressional establishment in 1952 of an annual day of prayer.

Graham prayed for education, one of seven pillars or spheres the task force promotes nationally, including the family, church, government, media, business and entertainment.

“The greatest need in our country right now, in my estimation, is to teach the truth of God. We need for His truth to penetrate the culture, and the way it penetrates the culture, is by penetrating the hearts and minds of young people,” Graham said in advance of his prayer. “The way we think is essential and vital to our health, our spiritual health as well as our physical health. And therefore to train the mind, to build our brains in God’s truth is so very important. That’s why you have wisdom literature in the Scripture.”

He petitioned the Lord for wisdom for the Saints.

“Lord, we pray for Your wisdom. We pray that Your wisdom would be our wisdom as we open your Word and we live Your truth,” Graham prayed. “And we pray that we would be Christian thinkers, believers in Jesus Christ whose brains are fully engaged in Your Word and engaging the culture with answers to their questions. “So we pray that You would raise up a new generation of young believers who would know Your Word and without apology with boldness and true belief, and true truth, share the Word of God with their friends and families.”

More than 2,000 local events spanning all 50 states were listed on the NDP events page, included in events that last year totaled 60,000, NDP organizers said.

“On the evening of the 2022 National Day of Prayer, our National Observance Broadcast, produced in partnership with Pray.com and aired from the Museum of the Bible, reached just over 100 million households globally for the third year in a row,” organizers said in a pre-event press release. “From living rooms to auditoriums, from the East Coast to the Pacific Islands, millions were brought together to pray in unity, praising God and crying out to Him in one voice. The Lord poured out immense creativity on the tens of thousands of volunteers who planned over 60,000 events in all 50 states in 2022. This year (2023) we will see thousands of Americans faithfully join local prayer rallies — all crying out praises and prayers. At every National Day of Prayer Task Force event, leaders prayed in the name of Jesus and asked the Lord to bless those who lead and those in need across our nation.”

NDP Task Force President Kathy Branzell encouraged Christians to continue praying after the national observance concluded.

“We don’t stop there,” she said of the national observance. “The National Day of Prayer Task Force is always, every day, mobilizing unified public prayer for America. We want to ask you this evening to please continue to pray and to pray with us.”

Tony Evans, pastor of Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, prayed for the church and other concerns.

“Help us to refrain from complaining, but instead be prompted to pray faithfully in every circumstance. Teach us to have a content heart knowing you are always enough for our every need,” Evans prayed. “As the church we commit to pray and love our neighbor and our nation as You loved us, that our reputation in this world would be rooted in Your love.

“Holy Spirit work and overflow through us in every prayer, thought, word and deed,” Evans prayed. “May our character, conversation and conduct reflect the righteousness in which you clothe us and command us to live.”

The national broadcast is available on several platforms announced here.