By Sherry Vogel
The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is For Your Great Name’s Sake, Hear Us…Forgive Us… Heal Us!
People all across America will be gathering to pray in observance of this nationally proclaimed Day of Prayer on May 4.
Many communities honor the day by holding various events. They range from Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts where pastors, community leaders and city and county officials are invited to pray for guidance, to groups of citizens gathering around community flag poles in the center of towns to pray for local and federal governments and for divine intervention in troubling world events.
President Harry S. Truman introduced National Day of Prayer, which originated on April 17, 1952, to the nation as Public Law 82-324. It proclaimed each subsequent president must declare a National Day of Prayer at an appropriate date of his choice.
In 1988, that law was amended designating the first Thursday of May as the official National Day of Prayer.
This year marks the 66th National Day of Prayer. Every president since 1952 has made a national proclamation to encourage US citizens to pray for God’s guidance for our nation.
Perhaps no President has expressed himself more sincerely than President Ronald Reagan, in his 1983 declaration, when he acknowledged that God truly does play a role in our nation’s history. He stated, “From General Washington’s struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has reverently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future.”
All throughout scripture we see that fervent prayer is effective. God responds to His children’s earnest pleas in mighty ways that avail much and ultimately determine the course of history.
Such a promise is found in the Bible in 2 Chron.7:14 If my people who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Our world seems to be facing uncertainty in every arena, it is no longer an option to stand idly by hoping that things will work themselves out…take the time to bow your knee to seek the One who is willing to offer His wise guidance and is able to change the course of history.