“LORD, hear OUR CRY.” This is the theme for the 64th National Day of Prayer, which falls on Thursday, May 7th this year. As our nation and its citizens continue to struggle with economic insecurity, hunger, violence, major healthcare issues, and perceived challenges to our constitutional rights, believers from many faiths are preparing to exercise their freedom to gather and pray. Millions around the country answer this call to prayer each year in observance of the National Day of Prayer. Organized events will be held in thousands of public venues, where prayers and intercession to God will be made for America and its leadership.
In Connecticut, the Governor traditionally signs a National Day of Prayer Proclamation, and here in Woodbridge, several members of our Board of Selectmen usually attend our town’s annual prayer service. This year, our public ecumenical gathering will take place at 6 PM, in Room 16 of The Center Building, 4 Meetinghouse Lane. Everyone is welcome to attend!
To give a bit of history, the National Day of Prayer is a Judeo-Christian observance to pray for our country, its leaders, and concerns, that goes way back. It is an important part of our national heritage and has its origin in the strong faith of many of our founding fathers. Historically, the tradition goes back to 1775 when a Continental Congress proclamation set aside a day to ask God for wisdom in forming our new nation. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln designated April 30, 1863 as a day of “national humiliation, fasting and prayer”, asking God’s help to restore the divided nation. Then in April, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer to be declared by each succeeding president at an appropriate date. In 1988, President Reagan amended this law, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.
Our freedom to assemble to pray is a freedom not enjoyed by others in many parts of the world and, therefore, should be treasured and exercised. As long as our country continues to face challenges that do not have simple solutions, our hope rests in seeking the Almighty’s protection, blessing, and guidance, not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year.
So please, mark your calendars and take time to come pray with your Woodbridge neighbors on May 7th. Everyone is welcome! Please bring your family and invite your friends to participate in this very worthwhile event! Further information about the National Day of Prayer can be found on the website www.nationaldayofprayer.org.