The National Day of Seven Mountains Prayer - Word&Way

The National Day of Seven Mountains Prayer

Nearly three years ago, the first issue of A Public Witness took on the National Day of Prayer and why we shouldn’t have one. Despite that brilliant work, the NDP lives on and is recognized at capitol buildings and other places across the country. Held every year since 1952, it’s been on the first Thursday of May annually since 1988. And there’s even a law saying the U.S. president “must issue a proclamation” to recognize the NDP.

“I call upon the citizens of our nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faith and conscience, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection,” President Joe Biden wrote in an official declaration yesterday (May 1). “On this National Day of Prayer, we recognize the power of prayer to strengthen our spirits, draw us together, and create hope for a better tomorrow.”

Although Biden focused his statement on how prayer is important to him personally and what he’s praying for the nation, it still used a lot of “we” and “our” language that suggests some Americans are not fully American or patriotic because they don’t pray. And while that problem — which we addressed three years ago — remains, there’s also another concerning issue about the NDP.

This is not your father’s National Day of Prayer. It’s not even the NDP of my youth and early adulthood. Over the past several years, the NDP has evolved from classic evangelical leadership and language to embracing a radical version of Christian Nationalism originally just on the fringes of the Pentecostal and charismatic branches of Christianity.

Seven Mountains Dominionism helped fuel the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. This theology is also popular with the self-proclaimed “prophets” who have been proclaiming a second Donald Trump presidency for several years — and adjusting their “prophecies” after it failed to materialize with the previous election. The theology can be heard at the ReAwaken America Tour, Sean Feucht concerts, Charlie Kirk events, and in the prayers at Trump rallies. And now it’s embedded in the National Day of Prayer.

An attendee of a National Day of Prayer gathering in Jackson, Mississippi, sports an American flag t-shirt with a cross within the design on May 4, 2023. (Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press)

This issue of A Public Witness asks you to keep your eyes open and head straight so you can read about the Seven Mountains theology, how it’s seeping into the NDP with a more violent twist, and why this should alarm those of us who care about democracy and the Christian faith.


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