In 1775, the U.S. Congress first called for a national day of prayer, but it was not recognized as a formal celebration until 1952. However, for the first time in 69 years, no prayer service will be conducted at the U.S. Capitol as the use of the “People’s House” for prayer has been denied by President Biden. But barricades, security, and politics in Washington, D.C. cannot stop Americans from observing this day and praying for our nation.
On April 17, 1952 a bill initiated by Mr. Conrad Hilton and Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas was passed (Public Law 82-324) that the President of the United States was to set aside an appropriate day each year, other than Sunday, as a National Day of Prayer. Harry Truman signed it into law.
Wednesday, May 7, 1988 – Senator Strom Thurmond’s bill to designate a day for the National Day of Prayer passed unanimously in the Senate (later in the House).
Thursday, May 8, 1988 – Ronald Reagan signed Public Law 100-307 designating the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.
August 12, 1998 – Bill Clinton signed Public Law 105-225: The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
There’s is no law prescribing the National Day of Prayer be be celebrated only by members of one faith. As America has grown as a multicultural, multi-religious nation, it is widely celebrated by more than those in the Christian community.
Even though our President and Vice-President do not seem interested in building people in faith in Someone bigger than themselves, we do not need a specific place or time to pray for them and for our nation. So tomorrow, the first Thursday of May is STILL a day for the nation to come together to pray.
Join here with hundreds of thousands tomorrow to pray, and consider making this your daily habit, to recognize there is a Higher Power that can free people from sin, deliver from addictions, preserve the most vulnerable lives, and that even “the king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He will.” (Proverb 21:1)