National Day of Prayer: The Maryland State Capitol Observance on Lawyer’s Mall
For this year’s event, we teamed up with another coordinator who had been given the idea of organizing a Simultaneous Bible Reading in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer. Look for the article about that elsewhere in this newsletter, but one high point of our NDP event was the sharing by one attendee how the LORD has given her a mental image of the hundreds of volunteers reading Scripture all over the world at the same time would look like rainfall from heaven as she shared from Jeremiah 33 about the LORD’s promise to restore His people. Suffice it to say that the corporate efforts associated with the Simultaneous Bible Reading lent an increased unity of believers in Annapolis and elsewhere which was clearly evident at the Capitol event.
The observance was held on Lawyer’s Mall, an open brick courtyard with a statue honoring Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. The mall is strategically located immediately next to both the State Capitol Building and the Governor’s Mansion and is within walking distance of the Courts.
So as we stood on political ground zero in Maryland, the Holy Spirit turned it into hallowed ground by His palpable presence from beginning to end of the two hour event.
After brief introductions and an overview of the program, we gave a quick review of NDP history and shared this year’s theme (“Pray for America”) and theme verse (Matthew 12:21 – In His name the nations will put their hope). We then offered the national prayer written by the Honorary 2013 NDP Chairman and Pastor Greg Laurie; to which we added petitions for a spirit of personal reverence and humility, corporate unity, Godly love and Christ-like grace to permeate everything and everyone.
We next honored our Nation’s flag with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Scout Troop 804 and a beautiful rendition of our National Anthem by soloist Debbie Sanchez. We then spent time praising the LORD for Who He is, what He has done and is doing, and thanking Him for answered prayer; acknowledging the truth that He is always doing more than we can ask or imagine. This was followed by a time of solemn self-examination and personal repentance before the LORD.
Spirit-led men and women then led us in prayers for the 7 Centers of Power, as well as for the Arts, for First Responders (Police, Fire, EMS) and the Medical Community, for Israel, and for America and the American people as a whole.
Throughout the evening, there was a recurring theme of prayers for Revival to renew and restore the character of the American people. This set the stage for a presentation of the Gospel, before which, all participants were asked to think on the last time they shared the Gospel and to ask the LORD to put in their mind specifically whom they should share it in the immediate future. With this person in mind, all were exhorted to listen and consider with fresh ears and receptive hearts; both for themselves and for the sake of others; that they might learn some new truth which might help them accept and/or better live out the Gospel; and in either case, to be able to better share and proclaim its message.
We closed by corporately offering the LORD’s prayer and singing Amazing Grace. It was a truly sweet time of worship, prayer and fellowship in which the LORD was glorified, His people were edified and passersby received a true witness of Kingdom unity.
We included many relevant scripture citations for each prayer topic in the event program and asked attendees to keep them as a reminder to pray for these things and for each other. We circulated a sign up sheet for folks who might like to volunteer to help with the 2014 NDP. We also encouraged everyone to come again next year and bring a friend.
In the end, long time attenders of this event were unanimous in sensing the LORD had more greatly blessed this year’s event than in recent memory. Perhaps this is reflects how much His people sense the urgency of the need to pray and seek His face as never before in our memories. No matter the reason, we are blessed and it was an honor and privilege to serve in 2013.
We’ve already scheduled weekly prayer conference calls for MD prayer warriors and NDP volunteers to join in as we work and plan next year’s NDP events and to stir the Body into making every day a day of prayer; not just in Maryland, but across the entire nation.