The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: “We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”
Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, this day has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Every year, local, state, and federal observances are held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that over two million people have attended more than 30,000 observances – organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stop their activities and gather for prayer.
For the May 5th, 2016 observances, Dr. Tony Evans, the 2016 Honorary Chairman, wrote a special prayer to be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (ET). This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us.
“The Church should be the conscience of the culture, and it has never been needed more than it is today, with our land facing a myriad of problems ranging from family breakdowns to the immigration crisis to the abiding racial divide. Tragically, as the fabric of our country unravels, we fail to see the spiritual problems that are at the root of our national malaise.”
“God is trying to get our attention. Many people want “God bless America,” but they don’t want “One Nation under God.” The problem is you can’t have one without the other.”
Dr. Tony Evans – honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer
For more information visit: http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org.