The National Day of Prayer on Saturday 31 October is a call for Christians throughout Ireland to come to God in prayer and fasting. May we encourage you to set aside even one hour for prayer? To help, we’re sharing the following template (downloadable as a PDF here).
Break it down
For many, the thought of praying for 60 minutes is a daunting prospect. However, when the hour is broken down into smaller slots, the time can go in surprisingly quickly.
Below are 12 headings; 5 minutes on each topic will provide guidelines for one hour of prayer.
Pray simply in your own words and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you as you think of particular people or situations that can be included.
ENTERING INTO HIS PRESENCE
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
- Focus on God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit as we come into His presence.
- Realise the significance of the cross as we approach God’s throne.
- Remember the privilege of coming before God with our requests.
Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. Psalm 24:3–4
Before we can truly pray, we need to be right with God. We need to recognise the sin in our own lives and to ask God to forgive us. We need to lay down any offence that we may have with other people and forgive them. We may also have to forgive ourselves for all the things we are ashamed of.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures for ever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100:5–6
- Give thanks to God for all the blessings we receive.
- Thank God for friends and family and those who care for us.
- Thank God for the frontline workers who have made tremendous sacrifices over the past few months on behalf of others.
For the Lord comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones. Isaiah 49:13
- Remember all who have suffered this year because of COVID–19, especially those who have lost loved ones.
- Remember all who are currently in hospital or recovering from the effects of COVID–19.
You are my hiding–place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Psalm 32:7
- Pray for the protection of medical staff, care workers and all other frontline workers throughout our island.
- Pray for the protection of the elderly and vulnerable, especially those in care homes.
- Pray for protection against loneliness and issues associated with mental health, especially for those who are living in isolation.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
- Pray for all those whose livelihoods have been severely affected during this year.
- Pray for the unemployed and those whose jobs may be in jeopardy.
- Pray for colleges and schools, as they provide education for their students.
WISDOM FOR OUR LEADERS
For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. Proverbs 2:6
- Pray wisdom for government and political leaders in all the decisions they have to make, especially in managing the COVID–19 crisis and restoring the economy.
- Pray wisdom for health officials as they advise on ways of keeping safe.
- Pray wisdom for business leaders as they manage employment and finances.
For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:32
Pray for God to have mercy on us as a nation:
- For turning away from God and disobeying His laws.
- For the moral decline that has taken place.
- For the damage we have done to God’s creation.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14
- Pray that the power of God will take away COVID–19 and bring healing to our land.
- Pray for restoration of community and social life.
- Pray that fear and anxiety will be removed from people’s lives.
Will you not revive us again, that your people may rejoice in you? Show us your unfailing love, Lord, and grant us your salvation. Psalm 85:6–7
- Pray that God will renew His church through the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Pray for a spiritual revival throughout the whole land.
- Pray for the Kingdom of God to come.
- Pray for church leaders to be encouraged and given renewed vision.
Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19–20
- Pray that the church will fulfil the commission of Jesus.
- Pray that the church will act with grace and love as it serves the community.
- Pray that the church will bring good news, compassion and healing to those in need.
He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Titus 3:5–6
- Pray for the renewing power of the Holy Spirit to touch and fill your life.
- Pray for a deeper love and knowledge of God.
- Pray for a greater commitment to follow Jesus Christ.