National Day of Prayer 2019

The 67th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer is Thursday, May 2, 2019.  How awesome is it that among the laws of our nation, one law (Public Law 324) establishes a day “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.” Think about it, for one day, every year, America becomes a “house of prayer.” Isn’t that what Jesus declared the Church should be in Matthew 21:13a?  What a great opportunity for Christians to participate in this National Day of Prayer by exercising the blessing of our constitutional liberties to publicly call on Almighty God for our nation and our neighbors, for our culture and our cities, for the spirit of service and for seekers to find salvation. 

 Throughout our nation’s history, statements and actions by our lawmakers have been aligned with Judeo-Christian principles and values. In fact, invoking times for prayer go back as early as 1623 when Governor William Bradford called the Pilgrims to pray for God to intervene during their distress. In 1775, a National Day of Prayer was called for by the first Continental Congress, and President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 also called for a National Day of Prayer.

 Here’s a little recent history on the nation’s National Day of Prayer observance:

  • In 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law the joint resolution establishing that the President “shall set aside” a day each year other than Sunday as a National Day of Prayer. 
  • In 1979, The National Prayer Committee was established to plan events for the National Day of Prayer. 
  • In 1983, The first national event observing the National Day of Prayer took place in Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.   
  • In 1987, a bill was introduced into Congress to amend the 1952 law to designate a specific day for the National Day of Prayer. The bill was:
    • Endorsed by 13 Senators and 90 Congressmen
    • Bi-partisan sponsored
    • Passed unanimously
  • In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law designating the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.

America has continually enjoyed the blessings of God’s favor even in the midst of great trials and tragedies. Could it be that the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous have availed much for our liberties, our prosperity and our pursuit of happiness?  Let us continue to believe so and to act so.

 On Thursday, May 2 at the Oho Statehouse, an observance ceremony is planned. The full schedule is here. Come join the celebration if you can; if you can’t, spread the word and for sure, “Let us Pray.”

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