Ways to Celebrate National Day of Prayer

The YMCA has been an organization that has understood the power of prayer for more than 176 years. George Williams, our founder, knew the power was not in the one who prays but the one who hears. George had no idea he'd be starting a global movement by simply praying for those he worked with and inviting them into a relationship with Jesus, but this simple act led to one of the largest Christian nonprofits dedicated to supporting every individual, no matter who they are or where they come from. Similarly, since 1952, our country has set aside a day for pause and prayer together. As we approach and arrive at this day, we know that our communities, nation, and the world needs the power of prayer to bring hope, healing, and restoration. Below are a few ways you and your family can choose to participate in the National Day of Prayer and beyond.

Prayer Walk

It really is a simple as it sounds! Go on a walk or run while you pray for the people and places you see along your journey. Start off by asking God to make you aware of those around you, and be guided by the Holy Spirit. You could choose a specific scripture or verse for the walk, or get inspired as you journey along. For instance, pray for the safety of neighbors you see riding by on bicycles, or pray for the well-being of anyone who might sit on a bench you see on the trail.

Prayer Journal

Some find it easier to concentrate and stay focused if they write, so find a paper or notebook to write your prayers.  Remember to look back through your journal to see how God has been working in your life.

YMCA Prayer Wall

The Bible commands us to carry one another’s burdens. Our virtual Prayer Wall allows us to carry the burdens of those in our community and have other help carry our own burdens.  Let us know how we can pray for you and see how you can pray for others.

Suggested areas to focus your prayer time on beyond your family, friends, and church include:

  • Government employees in local, state, and federal positions to lead with our nation's best interests at heart,
  • Military members, both active and veteran, so they know their service is appreciated,
  • Men and women in the media so they may continue to shine a light on the truth, and
  • Educators, so they may continue to persevere through all obstacles and prepare the leaders of tomorrow.

Hand Prayer (Children’s Activity)

As you work look at your hand as a guide pray for the following things

  • Thumb: those closest to you like your friends and family
  • Pointer: people who lead and guide you, such as teacher, pastors, and coaches
  • Middle: local, national, and world leaders who have to make impactful decisions every day
  • Ring: all of the individuals who may be sick, lonely, or struggling
  • Pinky: the smallest finger reminds us to pray for ourselves last

Gather Together

There's always something special about joining together with others in prayer. Set up some time to host a virtual prayer call or in-person prayer session with your loved ones.