WASHINGTON (BP)–President George W. Bush has declared Friday, Sept. 14, as a “National Day of Prayer and Remembrance for the Victims Of the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.”
“I call on every American family and the family of America to observe a National Day of Prayer and Remembrance, honoring the memory of the thousands of victims of these brutal attacks and comforting those who lost loved ones,” Bush said in a Sept. 13 White House proclamation.
“I ask that the people of the United States and places of worship mark this National Day of Prayer and Remembrance with noontime memorial services, the ringing of bells at that hour, and evening candlelight remembrance vigils,” Bush stated. “I encourage employers to permit their workers time off during the lunch hour to attend the noontime services to pray for our land. I invite the people of the world who share our grief to join us in these solemn observances.”
Bush said he and other Americans “mourn with those who have suffered great and disastrous loss. All our hearts have been seared by the sudden and senseless taking of innocent lives. We pray for healing and for the strength to serve and encourage one another in hope and faith.”
The president made particular note of the Scripture verse from Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted.”
On Saturday afternoon, Sept. 15, a number of evangelical leaders will lead a satellite-linked “America Prays” vigil.
“Prayer of Jabez” author Bruce Wilkinson of Atlanta will be joined in the prayer gathering by Franklin Graham of Samaritan’s Purse, James and Shirley Dobson of Focus on the Family and author/pastor Max Lucado. The Atlanta-based INJOY ministry led by John Maxwell is hosting the outreach.
The prayer vigil is scheduled for 4-5:30 p.m. (EDT/MDT) and 3-4:30 p.m. (CDT/PDT).
More than 115,000 people in an estimated 1,000 churches in all 50 states are expected to participate, organizers said.
INJOY will be broadcasting from a church in either Lawrenceville, Ga., or Lake Charles, La., depending on travel conditions.
On the Internet, the White House proclamation can be viewed at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/.
For an updated list of churches in the America Prays vigil or to register to receive the downlink, see the website at www.INJOY.com/AmericaPrays.
Media information about the prayer vigil can be obtained by contacting Rob Forrester or Jennifer Sheran at (770) 813-0000 or by cell phone at (770) 757-5031 or by visiting www.DeMossNewsPond.com.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Evangelicals, the National Prayer Committee, National Day of Prayer and Mission America Coalition have joined in a call for a “National Day of Mourning and Prayer” on Sunday, Sept. 16.
The groups are sponsoring a full-page advertisement in USA Today on Friday, Sept. 14, calling for the national effort.
The National Association of Evangelicals encompasses 51 member denominations and 43,000 churches.