Lauren Green: This is the power of a National Day of Prayer

President Donald Trump has declared this day, this 15th day of March, 2020 AD, (Anno Domini – the Year of our Lord), to be a National Day of Prayer, in order to bring the country soulfully together in a battle against an evil enemy called the coronavirus.

Trump tweeted, “No matter where you may be, I encourage you to turn towards prayer in an act of faith. Together, we will easily PREVAIL!”

It is certainly not the first time a president has called for prayer. Throughout America’s history, her commanders in chief have understood the power of prayer and the humility required to bow heads in reverent acknowledgment that we are not sufficient unto ourselves.

ROBERT MORGAN: TRUMP’S NATIONAL DAY OR PRAYER DECLARATION HAS DEEP AMERICAN ROOTS

Abraham Lincoln, who led the country through a Civil War and paid the ultimate price for his stalwart vigilance to keep the Union together, famously said about prayer, “I have been driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had no where else to go. My own wisdom and that of all about me seemed insufficient for that day.”

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The pandemic COVID-19 has given many of us that same feeling of there being nowhere else to turn to save ourselves. Being vigilant about washing hands, sanitizing our homes and workplaces, and keeping a distance between our fellow citizens .. seems like only a temporary or flimsy barrier to a raging tsunami.

To close the churches where people go for comfort and spiritual strength – as an act of fighting against this biological scourge – seems like a surrender to Satan.

But ah! We have one quiver in our arsenal that Satan cannot thwart. It is the power of prayer!

As a  person of faith and a journalist I have been confronted many times by skeptics who do not believe in the power of prayer, who see it as just the antiquated thinking of an uneducated mind.

Prayer recalibrates our hearts. It is a way of being that puts God in the center square; in the epicenter of our souls and redirects our desires. 

Still we are a praying nation, much more than any other Western country. Yet do we really understand what prayer is? Do we believe that prayer changes our circumstances? Or is prayer a magic incantation, a summoning of the cosmos to give us what we desire?

It’s actually so much more and so much less at the same time.

“Prayer,” simply put,  “is a declaration of dependence on God,” says Philip Yancey in his book “Prayer: Does It Make.Any Difference?” (Zondervan 2006). It is a mindset, a way of living out Psalm 46, “Be still and know that I Am God. I will be exalted among the Nations. I will be exalted in the earth.”

Prayer recalibrates our hearts. It is a way of being that puts God in the center square; in the epicenter of our souls and redirects our desires.

Does God know our plight? Absolutely. Will He listen to our prayers? Most certainly.

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If the coronavirus is part of Satan’s arsenal of evil, then we should all be confident that God will prevail in this battle. The Christian belief is that Satan has already been defeated. That Jesus by dying on the cross vanquished this peddler of pain, this maestro of misery. Those who believe need not fear death or even sickness. We need only put our hope in the One who is ultimately in charge.

Prayer is the power we have to tap into God’s protection. To make Him our refuge, to find our shelter under His wings. There is so much we – and the medical minds looking for a vaccine – still do not understand about this virus.

So pray that God guides them to better knowledge; pray for the people already infected, that they recover quickly; pray for their families; pray for those who need assurances that the world cares; pray for yourself and your co-workers; Pray for the government officials, that they be guided in their work to keep our nation running; pray for the schools, the hospitals, the buses and byways. Pray!

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God does answer prayer! His Word assures is.

“If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV)

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