Christians set to ‘lift up the Word’ on National Day of Prayer

At a time when war and tumult are rampant across the globe, prayer warriors are believing God will hear their cry for help and relief. The 2024 National Day of Prayer (NDOP) is set to be observed on May 2.

“Some may say the world is getting darker,” said National Day of Prayer Task Force president Kathy Branzell in a release. “But as long as God’s people are reading and relying on the Word, believing and living His Word, praying and practicing His Word, the world is full of light that exposes and dispels the darkness.”

The theme for the annual event — “Lift Up the Word, Light Up the World” — is based on 2 Samuel 22:29-31.

“Nothing could be more urgent than millions of Christians uniting in prayer on behalf of spiritual awakening in our polarized and increasingly secular nation,” said Kie Bowman, national director of prayer for the Southern Baptist Convention.

“While our national troubles often seem to defy human solutions, God has always responded in ‘great and mighty’ ways when His people call to Him,” Bowman said.

A special guide with an SBC emphasis is available here.

It features suggestions on how to:

  • pray against darkness
  • pray for light
  • pray for renewal in the SBC
  • pray for God’s protection.

NDOP gatherings are set in all 50 states, according to the organization. Many local city and county leaders join with pastors and church leaders to host gatherings in city squares or the county courthouse.

Congress originally called for a National Day of Prayer in 1952.

An advisory group led by Vonette Bright was formed in 1974. Vonette and her husband, Bill Bright, were the founders and longtime leaders of Campus Crusade for Christ (now Cru).

“One way we can bring hope to the public square is by praying for our country and its leaders,” said Miles Mullin, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission vice president and chief of staff. “As Christians, we believe that the same God who raised Jesus from the dead and continues to transform individuals also has the power to transform our country.”

President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law on May 5, 1988, declaring that the first Thursday in May be set aside as a day on “which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

“While our work at the ERLC focuses on the intersection of policy and culture, we know that ultimately, Jesus is the only one who has the power to change hearts and minds. We pray, on this National Day of Prayer, He will do just that, because He is our ultimate hope,” Mullin said.

— Brandon Porter serves as associate vice president for convention news at the SBC Executive Committee.