The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held in the United States on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for our nation. In some places, groups gather for prayer services, walks, or vigils. Here is a prayer to use or adapt:
A Prayer for Our Nation
Gracious God, in whom we live and move and have our being, we give thanks for your presence made known to us in the words, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior and Lord.
God of all truth, by whom all nations are judged and from whom nothing is hidden, we pray for the courage to face what we have done as a nation and who we have become as a people.
God of grace, grant repentance and forgiveness to leaders whose decisions have made victims of guards, interrogators, and prisoners through torture and cruelty.
God of love, grant healing and restoration to all those who suffer the scars of pain, hatred, guilt, shame, and self-recrimination.
God of peace, in whose outstretched arms we all find welcome, kindle within us the desire to love our enemies and to find ways to bring this about.
God of hope, heal our cynicism. Deliver us from adopting the terrorist ethic that the end justifies the means. May we not do what we say we condemn.
So, may we do justice and love mercy, and walk humbly with you, our God, our strength and our redeemer. Amen.
- The Rev. Kermit D. Johnson, chaplain and Major General in the U.S. Army (retired)
The Book of Common Worship contains a number of other prayers appropriate for this day.
Please share your prayers and other services in the comments section below.