Today marks the 59th observance of the National Day of Prayer. Created in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry Truman. Prior to the nation's founding, the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending "a day of publick humiliation, fasting, and prayer" be observed on July 20, 1775 During the Quasi-War with France, President John Adams declared May 9, 1798 as "a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer," during which citizens of all faiths were asked to pray "that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it". On March 30, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation expressing the idea "that the awful calamity of civil war, which now desolates the land, may be but a punishment, inflicted upon us, for our presumptuous sins", and designated the day of April 30, 1863 as a day of "national humiliation, fasting and prayer" in the hope that God would respond by restoring "our now divided and suffering Country, to its former happy condition of unity and peace". He went on to say, "...it is the duty of nations as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, to confess their sins and transgressions, in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognize the sublime truth, announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord."
In more recent history, the idea of an annual National Day of Prayer was introduced by the Rev. Billy Graham, who suggested it in the midst of a several-week crusade in the nation’s capitol. Members of the House and Senate introduced a joint resolution for an annual National Day of Prayer, "on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals."
On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each following president at an appropriate date of his choice. In 1982 a conservative evangelical Christian organization called the "National Prayer Committee" was formed to coordinate and implement a fixed annual day of prayer for the purpose of organizing evangelical Christian prayer events with local, state, and federal government entities. In his 1983 declaration, Ronald Reagan said, "From General Washington's struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future." In 1988, the law was amended so that the National Day of Prayer would be held on the first Thursday of May.
Now today, in our history, just this year in fact, a federal judge from Wisconsin has ruled the National Day of Prayer, unconstitutional. On March 1, 2010 U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb stated: ‘In my view of the case law, government involvement in prayer may be consistent with the establishment clause when the government's conduct serves a significant secular purpose and is not a "call for religious action on the part of citizens." McCreary County, Kentucky v. American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky, 545 U.S. 844, 877 (2005). Unfortunately, (section) 119 cannot meet that test. It goes beyond mere "acknowledgment" of religion because its sole purpose is to encourage all citizens to engage in prayer, an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function in this context. In this instance, the government has taken sides on a matter that must be left to individual conscience. "When the government associates one set of religious beliefs with the state and identifies nonadherents as outsiders, it encroaches upon the individual's decision about whether and how to worship." McCreary County, 545 U.S. at 883 (O'Connor, J., concurring). Accordingly, I conclude that (section) 119 violates the establishment clause.’
It saddens me deeply to see this blessed country that I SO love, turning away from that which made us the great and blessed country that we have been. Contrary to what many would want us to believe, this country was founded on Christian beliefs and values. If you don’t believe me, just read the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration contains five references to God - God as supreme Lawmaker, God as Creator of all men, God as the Source of all rights, God as the world's supreme Judge, and God as our Protector on whom we can rely.
The very idea that a government or President, through acknowledging the importance of prayer and humbling of ourselves in a National way, can or has caused ‘concrete injury’ to anyone, is beyond me. If I don’t like a book, TV show or movie, I choose not to read/watch it.
2 Chronicles 7:14 - If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
Pray with me, wont you?