Today is the National Day of Prayer—a day when people of all faiths are invited to pray for the nation.
This annual day of observance was created in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Today, it remains designated by the US Congress and held on the first Thursday of May. Every year, the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.
I was asked to pray this morning at a prayer event in Chicago, where the theme was “Pray for the City Where You Have Been Sent.” I thought it was fitting to share the prayer with all of you.
Dear Heavenly Father,
You are the Creator and sustainer of all things, the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Alpha and the Omega. Jehovah Jireh. You are sovereign over this City. Nothing happens outside of your will.
Lord, I come to you this morning praying for the business community of Chicago. You have blessed Chicago as a global city of commerce. It has become one of the largest economies of the world.
For almost 200 years now, Chicago has been blessed with a strong and vibrant business economy. Over that time, industries have come and gone, political leaders change, business leaders change, but you never change. You are always here. You have never left. You and your word stand forever.
And yet Lord, we confess that our hearts regularly stray from you. We idolize and worship the created rather than You, the Creator. Money, power and status are lifted up and your name has been relegated from the public square.
Your word tells us that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of all wisdom. I pray that more and more people in the business community would fear you rather than fearing man, that we would repent when we stray from you, that we would seek you and your kingdom first. Increase our faith in you oh Lord, trusting in you alone and obeying you above all else, no matter what the cost.
I pray this prayer for all people in the business community, from the summer intern to the CEO, and everyone in between. I pray that we would see our coworkers, our customers and the people in the communities we serve, as you see them, the crown of your creation to be loved and cared for and pushed to maximize the unique gifts and abilities that you have created each of us with, for your honor and glory.
I pray that we would see our work as a calling from you, as worship unto you. That it would be a sweet smelling aroma unto you. Lord, I trust you and your promises, that as we seek and love you, you will bless us and those around us will be blessed. The welfare of the City will be blessed.
May it start with us. May we be the ones to repent of our sins, heed the conviction to pray daily and seek you the welfare of our City. Guard our hearts Lord, from the worries of this life, from the lure of wealth and anything else that leads us away from you.
We love you and we praise you!
In the name of Jesus. Amen!
While we make an effort to pray for the nation on the National Day of Prayer, it’s encouraging to see faith and prayer taking place all over America, each and every day. Examples are all around us. Even while I was at Panera Bread the other day, a woman who was there asked to pray for some Chicago Police Department officers also in the restaurant. That moment stayed with me. Coming together to show compassion for and look after one another – every day – is something we can all share, no matter our backgrounds.
Marty is the president of Ozinga and the oldest of the fourth generation. He holds a master’s degree in communications from Northwestern University and is actively involved with The Bright Promise Fund for Urban Christian Education.