The National Day of Prayer is always the first Thursday in May. I hope you plan to attend a prayer gathering near you on May 3rd. Jesus tells us in the Sermon on the Mount to pray in our prayer closet, but he also says “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them (Matt. 18:20)”. We should get together with the Lord every morning in prayer, but we should also meet for corporate prayer. Not only is there more power in corporate prayer, but God requires it for corporate repentance of a nation.
When God told the nation of Israel to repent, the prayer was to be corporate.
“If my people, which 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 will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV.
God said His people (plural) should humble themselves (plural), and pray, and seek my face. The prayer and the seeking in this verse are plural, so He expected them to humble themselves as a nation. When we pray for a nation, the prayer should be with a group of believers.
If we want God to send revival to our nation, the we as Christians should gather together to pray and seek God’s face. When praying for America, I like to use the pattern of prayer that the prophets used in the Old Testament. You can see this pattern when Daniel prayed for the nation of Israel in Daniel 9 1-19. He began his prayer with praise then proceeded to confess the sins of the nation. He not only acknowledged his own sins, but also specific sins of the nation. This pattern is repeated by Moses, Hosea, Nehemiah and other prophets who interceded on behalf of Israel.
When confessing sins, we should always be specific. We committed our sins one by one and should confess them one by one. The generic, “Lord, forgive me of my sins”, will not suffice when humbling yourself before the Lord.
I recommend working through this sin list this week, Sin List from A-Z. As you confess your sins, then also confess the same corporate sin for the nation. Many people do not see the importance of this sin list, but as I researched revivals for the past 10 years I began to see a pattern. Revival begins when the church becomes serious about confessing her sin.
Use these Old Testament prayers as your pattern for prayer this week.