National Day of Prayer
Sample Prayer Meeting Format
Phase I: Biblical Introduction and Praise
During the first few minutes, the pastor or leader welcomes participants to a meeting of seeking God’s forgiveness, mercy and healing on the land. Because the Bible states that we enter into God’s presence by thanksgiving and praise, the leader guides participants to consider the many ways God has blessed the nation. (Examples: Our nation’s founding by Christian people, godly leaders at key times in history, physical blessings on the land, three past nation-wide revivals, freedoms to worship, etc.)
The pastor or leader voices a corporate prayer of thanksgiving for God’s grace through Jesus. He then prays prayers of thanksgiving for many specific points of blessing on the nation and Church.
After the corporate prayer of praise and thanksgiving, the leader turns the participants into small groups for a season of group praise. When it is time to bring the small group prayer to an end, an instrumentalist might softly play a verse as a signal for prayers to taper off. A leader then prays a corporate prayer of praise and thanksgiving.
Phase II: Biblical Confession and Repentance
(II Chronicles 7:14; Psalms 66:18)
The pastor or leader reads II Chronicles 7:14 and Psalms 66:18. Stress the reality that unconfessed sin seriously hinders answered prayer. Read 1 John 1:9 and emphasize the truth of God’s grace and forgiveness in Christ. The pastor or leader prays a corporate prayer confessing general sins of the nation and church.
Examples of primary sins of the nation are: rejecting God’s Word as our guide, departing from biblical morality, passing laws that are an abomination, slaughter of the unborn, pride and arrogance, ingratitude to the God Who has so blessed the nation, etc. Examples of primary sins of the church are: apathy, compromise, lack of evangelism, prayerlessness, division, materialism, immorality, disobedience, family breakdown, etc.
After the leader prays a corporate prayer of confession and repentance, have the people turn in small groups to pray for repentance in the church and nation. Encourage the people to pray for God’s mercy upon the land. Pray for God’s mercy to withhold His hand of righteous judgment and turn us to Himself. After a few moments of small group prayer, the pastor or leader prays a final corporate prayer for God’s grace and forgiveness.
Phase III: Praying for Parents, Families and Key Servants
The prayer leader stresses the extreme importance of praying for parents, children and families. He emphasizes the need for prayer against all the onslaughts opposing marriage and family. The leader also mentions the great debt owed to all who serve and defend others. Some key examples are: parents, teachers, medical personal, law enforcement and firefighters, homeland security and soldiers. The pastor or leader asks everyone to bow for a few minutes of silent prayer during which they are to pray for families, those who serve, soldiers and other helpers. After a few minutes of silent prayer, the pastor or appointed person leads in a corporate prayer for families and all who serve.
Phase IV: Prayer for Church and Government Leaders
(Ephesians 6:18-20; I Timothy 2:1-2)
The pastor or leader reads scriptures that emphasize the importance of praying for church and government leaders. Ask the people to bow in silent prayer and pray for their pastors, spiritual leaders and government authorities. After a time of silent prayer, the pastor or appointed person prays a corporate prayer for church and government leaders.
Phase V: Prayer for Revival and Spiritual Awakening
(II Chronicles 7:14; Isaiah 64:1-2)
The pastor or leader reads scriptures that stress the hope of God’s mercy in healing the land. To prepare the congregation, he might mention a few key aspects of The Prayer Covenant for Revival and Spiritual Awakening. The leader then asks the people to turn in small groups and spend five to ten minutes crying out for God’s mercy and for revival in the land. After a time of small group prayer, the leader voices some or all of the prayers contained in the covenant listed below:
A Covenant of Prayer for Revival and Spiritual Awakening
(Copied from “How to Develop a Powerful Prayer Life” by Dr. Gregory Frizzell)
||Holy Father, I humbly plead for Your underserved mercy upon my life, my church, my nation and world. Lord, help us come before You with deep awareness we deserve Your judgment far more than Your blessing. By Jesus’ blood alone, we plead for Your merciful grace to revive and bless us once again. (Psalm 85:4-7; Lamentation 3:22; Daniel 9:18-19)
Righteous God, please send overwhelming conviction of sin, deep brokenness and genuine repentance among Your people. Grant to us the true godly sorrow that leads to repentance. Fill us with holy fear and reverence for Your name. Purify the Bride of Christ for His Glorious Second Coming. Please prepare and cleanse us for the marriage supper of the Lamb of God. (Psalm 51:17; Proverbs 28:13; 2 Corinthians 7:1, 10;)
Mighty God, please come upon our pastors with deep repentance, dynamic power and renewed passion for Yourself. Grant to him a mighty wall of protection from the world, the flesh and the devil. (1 Timothy 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 1:6-7; 1 Corinthians 2:4)
Righteous God, grant to us a burning hunger for Yourself and a passion for fervent prayer. Help us draw near to You and seek You with all our hearts. Lord, cause us to hunger and thirst for You above all else. Help us lead our churches to become houses of prayer for all nations. (Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 5:6, 21:13; Acts 2:1; Philippians 2:13; James 4:8)
Holy Father, please bring us to loving unity in our churches and a deep harmony between our churches. Help us tear down the strongholds of bickering and disunity that so ravage Your Church. (John 13:34-35, 15:12, 17:20-22)
Gracious Lord, please fill us with a burning passion to pray for and witness to the lost. Cause our eyes to weep for souls that we may reap in joy. (Luke 19:10; Acts 1:8; Romans 5:5, 9:1-3)
Righteous God, empower Your people with a burning passion for local and global missions. Grant to us a fiery zeal for planting new churches. Please forgive us for our frequent lack of concern beyond “me and mine.” (Matthew 18:12, 24:14, 28:19; Luke 19:10; Acts 1:8)
Lord of the harvest, please call thousands into ministry, missions and Christian witness. Send forth a mighty flood of laborers into the harvest. (Matthew 9:37-38; Acts 1:8)
Holy Lord, we ask You to deepen and purify our very motives in praying for revival and blessing. Lord, teach us to seek Your “face” and not just Your “hand.” Cause us to seek You and not just Your comfort or blessing. Dear God, teach us to pray for Your glory and pleasure, not our own. (Hebrews 4:12; James 4:1-4)
Holy Father, we humbly ask for a mighty move of conviction and salvation in government leaders and others who influence culture. We ask You to pour out convicting, saving power upon Washington, D. C., colleges, universities, media networks and the Hollywood movie industry. We ask that you so move that millions will be converted to Christ in these strategic communities of cultural influence. (Psalm 2:8; 1 Timothy 2:1-4)
Righteous Lord, we ask You to send sweeping revival even if it takes hard times and great trials to prepare the soil of our hearts. Father, we pray not for shallow selfish ends, but for Your great glory and kingdom. Cause us to come to You in true humility, brokenness and contriteness of heart. (Matthew 26:39; James 4:1-4)
Sovereign God, we ask You to rend the heavens and send forth Your awesome “manifest presence.” We ask You to so move that over thirty million Americans will be saved in a single year. Cause Your glory to sweep the whole earth bringing unprecedented millions to Christ. We humbly ask You to move even greater than You did in any previous awakening. Blessed God, we pray for one last great harvest before the glorious return of Your Son. Purify Your Bride O Christ, and then come Lord Jesus, come quickly! (Isaiah 64:1; Ephesians 5:26-27; Revelation 22:17, 20)
To conclude the meeting, focus the people on God’s promise to forgive and heal the land. (II Chronicles 7:14) Encourage believers to intensify their daily prayers around The Covenant for Revival and Spiritual Awakening. (A strong option is to give participants copies of the covenant) It is often good to end with a hymn or chorus of celebration. (i.e. To God Be the Glory, Great and Mighty is the Lord our God, Shout to the Lord, etc.)
A Word About Music – Music, worship or instrumentals are often a great enhancement to times of corporate prayer. While music is not essential, it can very much set the stage for powerful prayer. Especially around Phase I, worship is strongly suggested. Each church or group will follow its’ own leading concerning worship. One thing is certain – when it comes to meetings of corporate prayer, we have the glorious assurance of the very presence of Christ’s self. (Matthew 18:20)
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