America's Heritage of Prayer

Part of America's spiritual heritage is a heritage of faith and prayer shared by many of her presidents and other leaders. From her beginnings to the present day, many of our country's leaders have encouraged its citizens to make faith and prayer a part of their lives. Today we'll take a look at what some have said about this important subject during crucial times in our nation.

Prayers for the Assistance of Heaven

One such time occurred on June 28, 1787, as fear and disagreement threatened the framing of our Constitution. When a solution seemed impossible, these words of wisdom offered by Benjamin Franklin marked a turning point in the process:

In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for the divine protection….Have we now forgotten that powerful Friend? Or do we imagine that we no longer need His assistance?… I therefore beg leave to move-that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations, be held in this assembly every morning before we proceed to business….

—Benjamin Franklin
Constitutional Convention
June 28, 1787

Pray Without Ceasing

During times of war and trial, our leaders have pointed our people to the one true Helper. During the height of World War II, President Roosevelt addressed the nation and offered a prayer for what was to be another turning point in world history.

Almighty God: our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free suffering humanity. Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness to their faith…. Help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts…. With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy…. Lead us to the saving of our country….Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

—Franklin D. Roosevelt
D-Day Prayer
June 6, 1944

Pray for God's Protection

We have heard our own president Bush's heart a number of times on the subject of prayer. His faith has been a strong encouragement to the people of this country.

Since our nation's founding, Americans have turned to prayer for inspiration, strength and guidance. In times of trial, we ask God for wisdom, courage, direction and comfort. We offer thanks for the countless blessings God has provided. And we thank God for sanctifying every human life by creating each of us in His image. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we call upon the Almighty to continue to bless America and her people. Especially since September 11, millions of Americans have been led to prayer. They have prayed for comfort in a time of grief, for understanding in a time of anger, and for protection in a time of uncertainty…. In the face of terrorist attacks, prayer provided Americans with hope and strength for the journey ahead.

…I encourage Americans to remember the words of St. Paul: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy…. Lead us to the saving of our country….Thy will be done, Almighty God. Amen.

…I ask Americans to pray for God's protection, to express gratitude for our blessings, and to seek moral and spiritual renewal….

—President George W. Bush
National Day of Prayer Proclamation
April 26, 2002

Prayer of Agreement

I encourage all readers now with our new President Obama in office to continue and increase in your prayers for America regardless of your political stance. According to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, it is our responsibility to pray for him and for all of our leaders.

Not long ago some of our Partners had an opportunity to briefly meet President Bush. When they told him, "We pray for you every day," he requested that they pray these three things:

  1. Pray for a shield over America
  2. Pray that he makes the right decisions.
  3. Pray for his physical strength.

Since that's what he requested, that's what I have been praying. When we pray in agreement, great power is manifested. So pray and agree with me now. And I hope you'll continue to make this part of your daily prayer for our nation.

A Prayer for Our Nation

Heavenly Father, I come before You in the Name of Jesus on behalf of the United States of America. I pray for a shield of divine protection over this country and for insight and uncovering of all terrorist activity. I rebuke the spirit of fear and terror. It has no place here.

Father, You said the heart of the king is in Your hand, and You turn it whichever way You choose. So I ask You to direct the heart and mind of President Bush. I pray for the wisdom of God, that he makes the right decisions. I also pray for his divine strength and health. I set myself in agreement with him that we receive these things, in Jesus' Name.

I give thanks that our government is upon Jesus' shoulder, and I hold up in prayer all the men and women in positions of authority over us in any way. I pray that the Spirit of the Lord rests upon them and a hedge of protection surrounds them.

I believe skillful and godly wisdom has entered into their hearts, and knowledge is pleasant to them. Discretion watches over them. Understanding keeps them and delivers them from the way of evil and from evil men. Lord, I believe You give them revelation of Your perfect will, and all their decisions are divinely directed by You.

I thank You, Lord, for bringing change to the politics of our nation. Thank You for changing the voices of influence to speak in agreement with Your Word. I ask You to send laborers, filled with the spirit of wisdom and might, to surround our leaders with godly counsel and insight. I also ask You to remove from positions of authority those who stubbornly oppose righteousness, and replace them with men and women who will follow You and Your appointed course for America.

Your Word declares that "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord." I receive Your blessing and declare with my mouth that Your people dwell safely in this land and they prosper abundantly.

You said in Your Word that if Your people would turn from their wicked ways and pray, You would heal the land. So Lord, I repent for the sins of this nation. I ask that You would cleanse us and forgive us for idolatry, witchcraft and every kind of disobedience. Grant this nation a spirit of repentance and cover us with Your mercy. As we turn back to You, Lord, I believe the land is being healed.

As we enter the final hours of the last days, I ask for the spirit of faith, the working of miracles, for signs, wonders, gifts, and demonstrations of the Holy Spirit and power to be in strong operation. Let believers in the United States and in every land be unified to stand strong by faith in Jesus, the Anointed One and His Anointing, that Your glory may be revealed in all the earth.

I thank You that the good news of the gospel is published in our land, and Your Word prevails and grows mightily in the hearts and lives of the people. I declare that Jesus is Lord over these United States!

Thank You, Lord, that these requests come to pass. I believe I receive, in Jesus' Name. Amen!

by Kenneth Copeland



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