National Day of Prayer on Thursday
Posted: Tuesday, May 3, 2011 10:48 pm
As the area faces the challenges posed by heavy rains over the past few days, area pastors who are part of the Obion County Ministerial Association are encouraging residents to come to the Obion County Courthouse in Union City Thursday at noon to pray for those in distress from the flooding and to thank God for the abundance of blessings He pours out over this nation on a regular basis. The occasion will the 60th annual National Day of Prayer, whose theme this year is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” The Rev. Lee Williams, associate pastor of First As-sembly of God in Radcliff, Ky., will be the speaker. Williams’ wife and two daughters were among the 27 church members who were killed in the worst bus crash in the history of the nation. In May 1988 near Carrollton, Ky., a drunk driver struck the vehicle which was bringing home youth and adults who had spent the day at an Ohio theme park. Those who plan to attend may want to bring lawn chairs, since no other seating will be provided, according to a spokesman for the Obion County Ministerial Association. “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,” according to the National Day or Prayer website.
“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.”
President Obama signed the 2011 proclamation April 29, in accordance with the public law.
Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer, reminds people of faith that The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds.
Mrs. Dobson says, “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.”
The mission of the NDP task force is “ … to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.”
On this special day, people of all faiths are invited to pray for the nation. The national sponsoring organization is privately funded and its purpose is simply to encourage participation in the event by communicating the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials for use in the observance and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families.
“The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible,” a spokesman said. “People with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs. This diversity is what Congress intended when it designated the Day of Prayer, not that every faith and creed would be homogenized, but that all who sought to pray for this nation would be encouraged to do so in any way deemed appropriate. It is that broad invitation to the American people that led, in our case, to the creation of the Task Force and the Judeo-Christian principles on which it is based.”
Joni Eareckson Tada is the honorary chairman of this year’s event, whose theme is based on Psalm 91:2, which states, “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
Published in The Messenger 5.3.11