The National Day of Prayer is a day designated by the United States Congress as a day when all Americans regardless of faith are asked to come together and pray in their own way. It is held on the first Thursday in May. The "National Day of Prayer" Task Force coordinates many local observances of the National Day of Prayer, however, it is an independent non-profit organization and does not act on behalf of the federal government.
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There have been several national days of prayer in the U.S. before the day was made official in 1952. The Continental Congress issued a day of prayer in 1775 to designate "a time for prayer in forming a new nation". Thomas Jefferson argued however, that although individual religious organizations had the right to designate a day of prayer, the U.S. government should not have that right.
On April 17, 1952, President Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law. It was in 1972 that the National Prayer Committee was formed. It went on to create the National Day of Prayer Task Force, with the intended purpose of coordinating events for the National Day of Prayer. In 1988, President Reagan signed a bill into law decreeing that the National Day of Prayer should be held on the first Thursday of May.
The intention of the National Day of Prayer was always that it would be a day when members of all faiths could pray together in their own way. It would involve Christians, Jews, Muslims, as well as Buddhists, Hindus, Aboriginals, Zoroastrians, Baha'is and all others, of any faith or of no organized religion, who wished to participate......... wicapedia.org