U.S. prepares for National Day of Prayer

Tuesday, May 2, 2000 | Tag Cloud

U.S. prepares for National Day of Prayer

2 May 2000 (Newsroom) – Americans across the country will meet to pray on Thursday for the 49th National Day of Prayer. Last year there were an estimated 20,000 prayer gatherings across the nation. Prayer events are scheduled in each one of the 50 states, organizers say.

The theme this year is “PRAY2K: America’s Hope for the New Millenium,” and is based on Romans 12:12, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

“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,” Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said in a prepared statement. “That expression of faith inspired our founding fathers at the birth of this nation, and it will be our strength in the days ahead.”

Although national observances date back to 1775 when the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer in forming a new nation, it was 1952 before Congress officially made it an annual event. In 1988 Congress passed a bill setting aside the first Thursday in May as the date on which the National Day of Prayer is celebrated.

This year, the Pentagon is hosting a National Day of Prayer observance for the first time, according to the task force. There will be an all-day prayer meeting at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., conducted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force.

“The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation,” according to a task force statement published on its Web site. “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 to 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.”

A Gallup poll last year found that nine out of 10 Americans say they pray. Three-fourths of Americans said they pray daily. According to the poll, people pray for their family’s well-being, to praise God, and to win the lottery. However, many reject the use of prayer to ask for material things. Nearly all Americans who pray believe that their prayers are heard and that their prayers have been answered, according to the poll.

Copyright © 2000 Newsroom.
Used with permission.

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