The Power of Prayer | IFCJ
Skip Navigation

The Power of Prayer

May 3, 2017

Dear Friend of Israel,

Thursday, May 4, is the National Day of Prayer, a time for Americans of all faiths to join together to pray for God’s blessing on the nation and the world. This event was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress.

Today, the place of religion in our public life is a subject of debate. This debate can be healthy and invigorating; in a country where free speech is valued, ideas are constantly being put to the test and beliefs held up to close scrutiny. This is one of the cornerstones of democracy, and acts as a check against governmental abuse of power and religious discrimination.

Yet, from the founding of the U.S., the government has not been hostile to public displays of faith. The public record – including the words of some of our greatest elected officials – reveals just the opposite.

The examples are too many to ignore: George Washington in 1795 spoke of the duty of citizens “to acknowledge our many and great obligations to Almighty God and to implore Him to continue and confirm the blessings we experience.” During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation calling on Americans to observe a day of fasting and prayer. On D-Day, President Franklin Roosevelt read a prayer during a radio address asking God to help the nation “rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.” In 1980, Ronald Reagan urged Americans to “seek Divine guidance in the policies of their government and the promulgation of their laws.”

Time and again those who have held the highest office of our government have publicly recognized that faith and prayer are part of our duties as citizens, and their duties as elected officials. The National Day of Prayer acknowledges this fundamental truth.

I am reminded of the words of another of America’s founders, Benjamin Franklin, who in 1787 reminded his countrymen that at the outbreak of the Revolutionary War “we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered . . . do we imagine we no longer need His assistance?”

Today – and every day – let us appeal for God’s assistance in securing health and safety for both the U.S. and Israel, and pray for the day when God will bless our nations, and the entire world, with His most precious gift of shalom, peace.

Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein

P.S. At The Fellowship, we believe strongly in the power of prayer. Please take a moment today to visit our prayer resources page, where you can join our Fellowship Prayer Team, record a prayer for Israel, and more.

Nikki Haley and Israel flag

A Voice of Truth at the UN

In the United Nations — an organization full of hypocrisy, cynicism, and anti-Israel bias — Ambassador Nikki Haley has stood tall as a staunch friend of the Jewish state and her people. That’s why the recent announcement that...

Read More

Rabbi Eckstein and Israeli girls welcome Freedom Flight

From the Four Corners of the Earth

Aliyah (immigration to Israel) is not just the prophetic return of Jewish exiles to the Holy Land — it’s an investment in Israel’s future that is publicly recognized by the state of Israel on Aliyah Day,...

Read More

Praying in Israel

Wisdom in an Age of Distraction

In a world that demands our immediate attention and bombards us with information, we can find true wisdom from God — through prayer, reading Scripture, quietly reflecting, and listening to His Word.

Read More