Americans gathered at more than 40,000 events across the nation to mark the 63rd official National Day of Prayer May 1, with participating leaders warning of a continuing moral and spiritual decline, interceding for national repentance, and, in at least one case, expressing defiance toward the “abortion president” and the contraception mandate that his administration has tried to foist on Americans.
Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of famed Protestant evangelist Billy Graham, was a keynote speaker at the main Day of Prayer event in Washington, DC, and her message included a warning of impending judgment on America over its increasing tolerance of wickedness. The remedy, she said, “will not be political or military or economic or education. The answer is to fall on our face before God and cry out to Him in humble repentance of sin.”
As the honorary chairperson for this year's Day of Prayer, Lotz read the 2014 National Prayer written for the event, which included the declaration that while God is merciful, forgiving, and righteous, “this day we are covered with shame because we have sinned against You, and done wrong. We have turned away from Your commands and principles. We have turned away from You. Yet You have promised in 2 Chronicles 7, that if we — a people identified with You — would humble ourselves, pray, seek Your face, and turn from our wicked ways, then You would hear our prayer, forgive our sin, and heal our land.”
Speaking for all repentant Americans, Lotz prayed that “we choose to stop pointing our finger at the sins of others, and examine our own hearts and lives. We choose to acknowledge our own sin — our neglect and defiance and ignorance and even rejection of You. This day we choose to repent.”
As past presidents have done starting with Harry Truman in 1952, President Obama issued a proclamation designating this year's National Day of Prayer. “One of our Nation's great strengths is the freedom we hold dear, including the freedom to exercise our faiths freely,” said the President. “For many Americans, prayer is an essential act of worship and a daily discipline.” He noted that throughout the day, across America, prayers would be offered to God “for comfort for those who mourn, healing for those who are sick, protection for those who are in harm's way, and strength for those who lead.” He added that “forgiveness and reconciliation will be sought through prayer,” and that many Americans would be giving thanks “for our many blessings, including the freedom to pray as our consciences dictate.”
Obama admonished that Americans “must never forget those around the world, including Americans, who are being held or persecuted because of their convictions. Let us remember all prisoners of conscience today, whatever their faiths or beliefs and wherever they are held. Let us continue to take every action within our power to secure their release. And let us carry forward our Nation's tradition of religious liberty, which protects Americans' rights to pray and to practice our faiths as we see fit.”
At least one prominent religious and cultural leader took the opportunity to lash out at President Obama over what many Americans have concluded is his ongoing assault on religious liberty, as well as for his overt defense and promotion of abortion.
Click here to read the entire article and view a portion of Dr. James Dobson's address.