By Mary Salamon
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. In Marysville, it will be May 3 from noon to 1 p.m. at Comeford Park.
The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first one 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 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. The National Day of Prayer has great significance as 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 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 an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning. Because of the faith of many of our founding fathers, public prayer have a long-standing history in the U.S. The Supreme Court affirmed the right of state legislatures to open their sessions with prayer in 1983.
Mary Salamon writes a faith column periodically for the newspaper.