Suggested Ways Your Family Can Learn About Prayer
and Celebrate the National Day of Prayer
• After watching the news on television, turn the set off and spend a few minutes praying for the needs of those whose stories were told that day. Examples might be victims of crime and those who attacked them, those whose homes or property were damaged by natural disasters or the restoration of peace to people at war.
• Work together as a family to write your own family prayer for the nation, based on things you’re thankful for and the expectations and desires you have for the country. Encourage each family member to include prayer for the nation in their daily personal time with God.
• On the week of NDP, designate a different area of concern to pray for each day. For example: on Monday, pray for the government; Tuesday, pray for the church; Wednesday, pray for schools; Thursday, pray for the family; etc.
• Put an NDP Bumper Sticker on each side of your mailbox.
• Help your children decorate their bikes with red, white and blue streamers, balloons and flags. They can ride the bikes to your NDP observance, if possible, or have a parade around your neighborhood.
• When you pack your child’s lunch for school, include a prayer for him or her and remind them to pray for someone else in the family before they eat lunch.
• As a family project, decorate the exterior of your house with red, white and blue streamers, balloons and American flags. Display an NDP Poster on your front door, or mount it on cardboard, attach it to a stake and plant it in your front yard. Be prepared to tell anyone who asks why you’re proud to observe the National Day of Prayer.
• Have a nightly family devotional time and talk about stories from the Bible where prayer changed people’s lives. Memorize passages like 1 Timothy 2:1 with your children and discuss the importance of praying for our country and its leaders. Fill in an NDP Prayer Guide and give one to an older child to acquaint him with the names of local and national elected officials and the offices they hold. Emphasize the vast responsibilities these officials carry and their special need for prayer.
• Create a special prayer calendar with your children that builds up to the National Day of Prayer and continues throughout the year. Or, My Family’s Prayer Calendar created by Shirley Dobson and Pat Verbal to use as a teaching tool for your children.
• Take a walk around your neighborhood and pray for each home along the way. Leave an NDP Bumper Sticker on the doorsteps with a note telling the family you prayed for them as part of the National Day of Prayer. Invite another neighbor family to join you in your prayer walk.
• Find out if your community is having an NDP observance and organize a special family outing around the event. Parents can take a day off of work, excuse the children from school and attend the event as a family. Then enjoy a picnic lunch together at a park or your own back yard. Invite another family to join in eating an all-American meal, including hot dogs and apple pie. Spend time praying and searching the Scriptures for prayer-related passages.
• Add an NDP Bookmark to all your correspondence before the NDP. Send the NDP Prayer Guide to all your relatives and friends as a reminder to observe the National Day of Prayer. Purchase NDP Stickers for wall and purse calendars as a reminder that the first Thursday in May is the National Day of Prayer.
• Put an NDP Bumper Sticker on your car. Offer them to your neighbors, as well.
• Tie red, white and blue ribbons to your car antenna beginning sometime in April. Tell those who ask that you are praying for the country, leading up to NDP.
• Make place mats to use during the week prior to NDP. Children can draw pictures of Bible characters or patriotic themes and use NDP Stickers. Write favorite Scriptures on the place mats to help children memorize them. Cover mats with clear plastic so they can be used several times. Share them with your friends and family members.
• Take the entire family to a local nursing home on the National Day of Prayer. Spend time praying with the residents, interceding for our nation and its leaders. Be sure to also pray for the needs of the nursing home, its staff, administrators and residents. Present each resident with an NDP Bookmark as a reminder of this important day.
• Have a family contest and award NDP T-Shirts to the children who can:
1. Locate all fifty states on a blank map.
2. Name the president, vice president, your congressmen and senators. 3. Identify the original thirteen colonies.
• Research historical figures such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Robert E. Lee,Booker T. Washington, William Penn, Squanto, Clara Barton and Abraham Lincoln. Learn how faith and prayer worked in their lives and how their character contributed to our historical heritage. Have family members dress up as one or more of these figures and act out an event from history.
• Have a neighborhood family potluck. Decorate in a red, white and blue theme. Give each family a prayer topic for after-dinner prayer time.
• Teach young children the importance of prayer with the My Prayer Coloring Book This new and exciting resource explains the Lord’s Prayer phrase by phrase using illustrations and words children can easily understand.
• Go to the home of a shut-in from your church or neighborhood for a visit on the National Day of Prayer. Present them with an NDP Sticker for their robe or quilt. Spend time in prayer together. Or, film your local National Day of Prayer observance with a video camera and bring copies of the video to a shut-in or nursing home so the elderly won’t miss out. A time of prayer with them can be especially powerful.
• As a family project, adopt city, county, state or federal officials and commit to pray for them for a year. Use an NDP Adopt-a-Leader Kit to inform the officials of your commitment and offer encouragement throughout the year.
• At the family dinner table, ask each person what his or her burden for prayer is on this important day. This is especially appealing to young children. Pray for each request.