The National Day of Prayer is an annual day of observance on the first Thursday of May designated by the U.S. Congress, when people are asked to turn to God in prayer and meditation.
In the early 1950s, an evangelical movement called for Congress and the President to proclaim a National Day of Prayer. The movement grew and a young leader, Evangelist Billy Graham, led services for approximately 20,000 on the steps of the Capitol on February 3, 1952. Later that year, Congress proclaimed a joint resolution for a National Day of Prayer. Each year since that date, Americans have observed the day in their own way. The observance was moved to the first Thursday in May by President Ronald Reagan and has been proclaimed each year since.
As a Nation, presidents and government officials have called for national days of prayer or thanks intermittently since before the country’s existence.
- July 20, 1775 – The Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending “a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be observed.
- In 1795 – George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.
- May 9, 1798 – John Adams declared this day as “a day of solemn humility, fasting, and prayer.”
- March 1863 – On March 3, Abraham Lincoln signed a Congressional resolution, during the Civil War, which called for April 30, 1863, as a day of fasting and prayer.
In Terry County, the National Day of Prayer will be celebrated on Thursday, May 6, on the Courthouse Square. Beginning at noon religious leaders in our community will offer prayers for our community, our nation and our world. Everyone is invited to participate in this.
Wellman-Union ISD students will participate by gathering together at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday outside the Commons for prayer.
The National Day of Prayer will not be celebrated on the Capitol or Whitehouse grounds this year.
According to Christian Headlines, after his request to host this year’s National Day of Prayer at the Capitol building on Thursday, May 6, 2021, was refused, the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, said that “free speech is in danger today” in America.
He tweeted: “After our permit was denied, for the first time in 70 years, there will be NO PUBLIC witness at the U.S. Capitol Building for the National Day Of Prayer.
“It is deeply troubling for the first time in 70 years, there will not be a public prayer service at the United States Capitol Building on the National Day of Prayer,” he said. “Every American needs to be asking the question, ‘How is it possible to have public prayer prohibited at the Capitol on the National Day of Prayer?’-especially when it is a national observance designated by Congress.”
In 1775, the U.S. Congress first called for the national recognition of prayer, but it was not recognized as a formal celebration on the first Thursday of May until 1952. Following its inception, every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
President of the National Day of Prayer Task Force issued the following statement as a part of a prayer for this Day of Prayer:
“Yes, we are richly blessed to have a law that has proclaimed a day of prayer for our nation each year since the first observance as the law was signed in 1952! Decades later, America still needs our prayers. We need to be praying for all people, every day, for all seven mountains of influence and more, because people are still in need and the Church is still called to a prayer, care, share lifestyle. First and foremost, people need to hear the message and experience the love of our Lord Jesus Christ. All have sinned and fall short, but God’s arm is not short, and we have been sent to show and share His message of LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY.
“Our 2021 National Day of Prayer theme prays: ”LORD pour out Your LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY.” Once again praying and proclaiming a promise of God in our theme verse, 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
“Let’s begin praying together now, please join me. Jesus we come now professing that You are our Lord, the One and only Son of God who came to take away the sin of the world and that whosoever believes in You will not perish but have everlasting life. As our Lord we are clay in Your hands, vessels of Your plans and love. Fill us we pray, to be overflowing vessels and examples of Your LOVE, LIFE, and LIBERTY. We thank you for loving us and commit to showing and sharing Your love. We thank you for our life, and commit to serve You in the awe and respect You deserve, knowing You have put Your image in all of us, and that every person is fearfully and wonderfully made. We thank you for forgiving our sins; for the LIBERTY you have given us, the mercy You have shown us, and You suffered in agony on the cross and the wrath of the Father was upon You, so that I might be found “Not guilty” through Your shed blood. Help me to show compassion and respect to others so that they may hear the gospel and come to know You as Lord and know the release of being a slave to sin. Pour out Lord, and pour through Your Church across America we pray, in Jesus Name. Amen!”