When is "National Day of Prayer"?
It is held on the first Thursday in May.
What type of holiday is this?
Origin of this Holiday?
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". 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 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 National Prayer Committee formed to coordinate and implement a fixed commemorated day of prayer. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan amended the law decreeing that the National Day of Prayer should be held on the first Thursday of May. A claimed intention of the National Day of Prayer was that it would be a day when members of all faiths could pray together in their own way
We did find reference to this holiday on several ECard websites.
National Day of Prayer Task Force
The National Prayer Committee created a non-governmental organization called The National Day of Prayer Task Force, with the intended purpose of coordinating events specifically for evangelical Christians for the National Day of Prayer. Based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, they work out of facilities from Focus on the Family, a Christian organization. Shirley Dobson (wife of Focus on the Family founder, James Dobson) is currently at the head of the Task Force.
The Task force's website says in their FAQ section: "Americans of all faiths are encouraged to participate in the [National Day of Prayer] according to their own traditions. However, the [National Day of Prayer] Task Force provides promotional materials and sponsors several events in keeping with the Judeo-Christian tradition". The 2008 application requires giving statement affirming Biblical Inerrancy, and requires voluteers "commit that NDP activities I serve with will be conducted solely by Christians". A previous application for volunteer coordinators with the Task Force lists the following as a primary qualification, "Commitment to Christ. A volunteer must be an evangelical Christian who has a personal relationship with Christ. I acknowledge that I am working for the Lord Jesus Christ and the furthering of His Work on earth and agree to perform my work with the highest standard of Christian faith."
The National Day of Prayer Task Force argue for the constitutionality and need for a National Day of Prayer, claiming that the "Founding Fathers did not mean for our government to be separated from our God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob".
A Day of Prayer is a day allocated to prayer, either by leaders of religions or the general public, for a specific purpose. Such days are usually ecumenical in nature.
World Day of Prayer for Peace
National Day of Prayer
Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem
Haystack Prayer Meeting
Women's World Day of Prayer
World Day of Prayer for Peace: Pope John Paul II organized the first World Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi, Italy, on October 27, 1986. More than 120 representatives of different world religions and Christian denominations spent a day together with fasting and praying to their God or Gods. The only major religious organization that was not present was Jehovah's Witnesses.
National Day of Prayer: This 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. A 'National Day of Prayer Task Force' was created in order to coordinate the event.
Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem: A prayer meeting organized by pentecostal evangelists Jack W. Hayford and Robert Stearns through their organization "Eagles Wings". They annually invite people around the world to pray for Jerusalem on the first Sunday of every October, close to the time of Yom Kippur. Their first prayer meeting occurred in 2004.
Haystack Prayer Meeting: Held in August 1806 this is viewed by many scholars as the seminal event for the development of Protestant Missions in the subsequent decades and centuries. On a hot summer day, a few Williams College students gathered in a field to discuss the spiritual welfare of the people of Asia. When a thunderstorm developed over the field, the students took refuge in the lee of a large haystack and continued their prayer meeting.
Women's World Day of Prayer: Held on the first Friday in March each year, the World Day of Prayer is the world's largest ecumenical laywomen’s initiative. It is run under the motto Informed Prayer and Prayerful Action, and is celebrated annually by Christian women in over 170 countries. The movement aims to bring together women of various races, cultures and traditions in a yearly common day of prayer, as well as in closer fellowship, understanding and action throughout the year.
How can I Celebrate this holiday?
- Blog with us about it! - We have a blog called "Everyday is a Holiday" so visit our pages and talk with us about this holiday.
- Send Free E-Greeting! - If your ready to get together with your friends don't forget to invite them with these fun Internet Invitations.
Other May holidays around the world
May is the fifth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. It is also a month within the northern season of spring.
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