National Day of Prayer May 6, 2004
The National Day of Prayer, specifically, is a vital part of our national 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. 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.
The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. It enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us today to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as a set day each year signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.
"The relation of man to his Maker is one of absolute dependence, and all the events of Providence are obedient to unalterable decrees, the laws by which they are governed being, like God Himself; unchangeable. These laws can be understood and obeyed only by the aid of that spiritual agency which is given in answer to devout and humble prayer. It becomes men therefore, in all circumstances and events of life to humble themselves before God and, in earnest supplication, implore the bestowment of mercies and blessings which can be obtained from no other source." - Anthony Colby Governor of New Hampshire, 1847
"The great faith that led our nation's founding fathers to pursue this bold experience in self-government has sustained us in uncertain and perilous times; it has given us strength and inspiration to this very day. Like them, we do very well to recall our 'firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence,' to give thanks for the freedom and prosperity this nation enjoys, and to pray for continued help and guidance from our wise and loving Creator" George Bush, declaring a National Day of Prayer, May 3, 1990
"Knowing that intercessory prayer is our mightiest weapon and the supreme call for all Christians today, I pleadingly urge our people everywhere to pray. Believing that prayer is the greatest contribution that our people can make in this critical hour. I humbly urge that we take time to pray-to really pray. Let there be prayer at sunup, at noonday, at sundown, at midnight-all through the day. Let us pray for our children, our youth, our aged, our pastors, our homes. Let us pray for our churches. Let us pray for ourselves, that we may not lose the word 'concern' out of our Christian vocabulary. Let us pray for our nation. Let us pray for those who have never known Jesus Christ and redeeming love, for moral forces everywhere, for our national leaders. Let prayer be our passion. Let prayer be our practice." Robert E. Lee 1864
"It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord ..."
"We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have Forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins and pray for clemency and Forgiveness.' Abraham Lincoln - National Day of Fasting, Humiliation and Prayer, April 30,1863
"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love... - Joel 2:12,13
"Whatever our individual religious convictions may be, each of us is invited to join in this National Day of Prayer. Indeed, although we may find our own words to express it, each of us can echo this timeless prayer of Solomon, the ancient king. who prayed for and received the gift of wisdom: 'The Lord our God be with us, as He was with our fathers; may He not leave us or forsake us; so that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways... that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no other. '" George Bush in his National Day of Prayer Proclamation, 1992
© 1998 Pray-Today