By Lynette Norris
Greene Publishing, Inc.
At 5:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5, many citizens of Madison will be gathered on the Madison County Courthouse lawn for the 60th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
Prayer has been a part of the national consciousness since at least 1775, when the First Continental Congress “designated a time of prayer in forming a new nation.” A day set aside for national prayer has been a frequent occurrence in the decades to follow, including proclamations by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, but it was not until April 17, 1952, that it officially became an annual occurrence. On that day, a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Harry Truman.
In 1972, the National Prayer Committee was created, and the National Day of Prayer Task Force became one of its projects. In 1988, another Congressional bill designated the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer from that time onward.
Since then, the National Day of Prayer has become a multi-faith event where, as President Ronald Reagan described it, “people of many faiths join together to petition God to show us His mercy and His love, to heal our weariness and uphold our hope….”
This year’s theme, chosen by the NDP Task Force, is “A Mighty Fortress is our God,” a theme based on Psalms 91:2 – “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress.”
When the people of Madison County begin to gather on the Courthouse lawn Thursday afternoon, they will be continuing in that tradition of joining together with their fellow Christians to pray for God’s intercession of behalf of America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.
Connie Peterson, one of the local organizers of the event, says that several local ministers and church leaders will be speaking and praying at the gathering on the Courthouse lawn, and urged everyone to come out and bring friends, family and neighbors, to join together in prayer for the healing of our land.
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By Lynette Norris