National Day of Prayer 2015
“Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1808
On May 7, Americans of many faith traditions will devote themselves to prayer for our nation and its leadership in observance of the 64th annual National Day of Prayer. Established as an annual event by an act of Congress in 1952 and designated as the first Thursday in May in 1988, the National Day of Prayer (NDP) is an opportunity for Americans to pray together for the United States of America and those who lead the country – whether elected or appointed, civilian or military, religious or nonreligious. Prayer gatherings will range from a National Observance on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to statewide events, to local observances in churches, community centers, government offices, and homes across the country. (Click here to find events near you.)
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a nonprofit, privately-funded organization that promotes participation in the NDP, this day of nationwide repentance and prayer provides an opportunity to individually and collectively ask for Divine forgiveness and guidance. While the Task Force is specifically Christian in focus, it affirms the NDP belongs to all Americans, regardless of faith tradition. This year’s theme is “Lord, Hear Our Cry,” and the NDP Task Force has chosen I Kings 8:28 as the Scripture verse for this year: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”
National prayer and repentance should be especially important to those in the pro-life community. Georgia Right to Life acknowledges that our nation must repent from its decades of denying personhood to the pre-born and other vulnerable members of society and ask that God heal our nation. GRTL encourages everyone to pray for all those fighting for the rights and protection of all persons, and for those leaders who can change laws and influence culture to reflect every person’s paramount right to life.
Each year, as set forth by law, the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on the first Thursday of May. Last year, all 50 state governors – plus the governors of several U.S. territories – signed similar proclamations calling for prayer among their constituents. The NDP Task Force estimates over 2 million people attended more than 30,000 observances last year. Georgia’s statewide service this year will take place in the south wing of the State Capitol, beginning at noon (with pre-service music at 11:45 a.m.), according to Public Service Commissioner Tim Echols. Echols said those gathering for this service will pray for government, education, religion, arts, entertainment, media, families, and business.
For more information about the NDP, including its history, mission, thoughts on how to pray for America, and other resources for individuals and churches, visit nationaldayofprayer.org. Click the “Events” tab to find local observances near you.