Today is the National Day of Prayer in the U.S., a day observed annually since 1952 but with a history dating back to pre-Revolutionary War times.
In most years, Americans hold public prayer gatherings in towns and cities across the nation, but COVID-19 restrictions have suppressed most such meetings. Instead, many "virtual" events are occurring this year.
Also, the annual "National Observance," usually held on Capitol Hill, will take place this evening from venues across the country. It will be aired live (from 8-10 p.m. ET) via nationaldayofprayer.org, Facebook Live, God TV, and Moody Radio.
Here is a portion of President Donald Trump's official Proclamation about today's National Day of Prayer.
From our earliest days, our dependence upon God has brought us to seek His divine counsel and unfailing wisdom. Our leaders have often encouraged their fellow citizens to seek wisdom from God and have recognized God's power to lead our Nation ahead to brighter days.
When the prospects for our independence seemed bleak, General George Washington proclaimed a national day of "fasting, humiliation and prayer, humbly to supplicate the mercy of Almighty God." Following the devastating destruction of the Civil War, President Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address and invoked the power of prayer to "bind up the nation's wounds." And more than 100 years later, President Reagan noted our long reliance on prayer throughout our history, writing that "through the storms of revolution, Civil War, and the great world wars as well as during times of disillusionment and disarray, the Nation has turned to God in prayer for deliverance."
Today, as much as ever, our prayerful tradition continues as our Nation combats the coronavirus. During the past weeks and months, our heads have bowed at places outside of our typical houses of worship, whispering in silent solitude for God to renew our spirit and carry us through unforeseen and seemingly unbearable hardships. Even though we have been unable to gather together in fellowship with our church families, we are still connected through prayer and the calming reassurance that God will lead us through life's many valleys.
In the midst of these trying and unprecedented times, we are reminded that just as those before us turned to God in their darkest hours, so must we seek His wisdom, strength, and healing hand. We pray that He comforts those who have lost loved ones, heals those who are sick, strengthens those on the front lines, and reassures all Americans that through trust in Him, we can overcome all obstacles.
May we never forget that prayer guides and empowers our Nation and that all things are possible with God. In times of prosperity, strife, peace, and war, Americans lean on His infinite love, grace, and understanding. Today, on this National Day of Prayer, let us come together and pray to the Almighty that through overcoming this coronavirus pandemic, we develop even greater faith in His divine providence.
By the way, if you're looking for a prayer guide with specific suggestions for praying about the COVID-19 pandemic, I recommend this one (PDF) from the mission organization SIM.