It was a National Day of Prayer unlike any other, and not for reasons we’ll ever want to repeat.
As President Donald Trump stepped to the podium on Thursday in the Rose Garden, almost his entire audience was virtual. The reason needn’t even be stated at this point. To a great extent, almost all of our national life takes place through a screen — including our prayer life.
We live with the constant fear of death. We no longer need to fear economic decimation; that’s already happened. We wonder what the future will bring.
On Thursday, the president’s message was clear: Yes, we’re suffering through an array of trials here on Earth the likes of which most of us have never experienced, but there’s a God in Heaven always willing to lead us through them.
“On this National Day of Prayer, America is engaged in a fierce battle against a very terrible disease. Throughout our history, in times of challenge, our people have always called upon the gift of faith, the blessing of belief, the power of prayer and the eternal glory of God,” the president began.
“I ask all Americans to join their voices and their hearts in spiritual union as we ask our Lord in Heaven for strength and solace, for courage and comfort, for hope and healing, for recovery and for renewal.”
There were prayers for “every family stricken with grief and devastated with a tragic loss” and for “the doctors, the nurses and first responders waging war against the invisible enemy.”
There were more than just prayers for these individuals, though. Brittany Akinsola, a nurse and pastor who worked with Samaritan’s Purse at their field hospital in New York City, who according to Trump “worked 13-hour shifts in the intensive care unit for weeks, praying for each patient while giving them the very best care,” also came up to the podium to speak.
She shared Galatians 6:9: “Let us not become weary of doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
“And the harvest that I’m believing for our country is one of restoration and hope. I am believing for healing in the name of Jesus, and I am believing that unity — that unity would thrive during this time,” she said.