EXETER – In one form or another, prayer has always been woven into the fabric of America. Since before America was a nation, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation for a day of “public humiliation, fasting and prayer.”
On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each following president at an appropriate date of his choice. In 1982 the National Prayer Committee was formed to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer for the purpose of organizing evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal government entities.
In 1988, the law was amended so that the National Day of Prayer would be held on the first Thursday of May. Two stated intentions of the National Day of Prayer were that it would be a day when adherents of all great religions could unite in prayer and that it may one day bring renewed respect for God to all the peoples of the world.
Local organizer Mary Scott says the nation has never needed prayer more than it does now. Violence, war, poverty and a decaying morality has left the country frail and in need of the strength, fellowship and unity provided by prayer.
It is time for America to unite in prayer,” Scott said. “We will be praying for our federal, state, and local government, our military, the media, businesses both local and nationwide, education on all levels, churches and pastors, family, and cities over America.”
The National Prayer Task Force has issued three prayer priorities for this year’s event:
1. Pray fervently for the security of our nation and for our schools, churches, and all public venues. “The one who lives under the protection of the Most High dwells in the shadow of the Almighty” – Psalm 91:1
2. Pray for unity among all ethnicities and people in America.
3. Pray for God to move supernaturally in all prayer observances and gatherings on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3, 2018. “They all were continually united in prayer.” – Acts 1:14
This year’s local ceremony for National Day of Prayer will begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 3 at Mixter Park, located at Pine and E streets in the heart of downtown Exeter. For more information, visit commit2pray.com. On social media, follow trend #Pray4Unity.