SBC Life Articles

Making Prayer a Priority

This year, America will celebrate its forty-ninth National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 4. In the past, more than 20,000 prayer events have taken place across the country. Millions of Americans gather in churches, schools, courthouses, prisons, and a variety of other locations to pray for the nation and its leaders.

"Our hope for America as we press into the new millennium is rooted in reverence for God and our dependence on His continued blessing and guidance," says Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer. "That expression of faith inspired our founding fathers at the birth of this nation, and it will be our strength in the days ahead."

The theme for 2000 is "PRAY2K: America's Hope for the New Millennium" and is based on Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer." (NIV)

On May 5, 1988, the 100th Congress of the United States passed a bill, signed by President Ronald Reagan, to provide for setting aside the first Thursday in May as the date on which the National Day of Prayer is celebrated. Although the annual event was established by an act of Congress and President Truman in 1952, it did not begin to gain momentum until a specific day was set aside to observe it. Now, twelve years after President Reagan's amendment, participation in the National Day of Prayer continues to grow and become a vital part of our American heritage.

One of the most visible prayer gatherings will be held at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where the National Day of Prayer Task Force will hold a prayer gathering. Participants at the D.C. event include Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, founder and president of Walk Through the Bible; Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, Senate Chaplain; Congresswoman Helen Chenoweth-Hage; General Henry H. Shelton, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Mr. Dennis Rainey, Executive Director of Family Life; Mrs. Joni Eareckson-Tada; and Mr. Ron Hutchcraft, president of Ron Hutchcraft Ministries.

To contact a coordinator in your area regarding local events, call the office of the National Day of Prayer Task Force at (719) 531-3379.

    About the Author

  • SBC Staff