Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Prayer A valued tradition

Thursday is National Day of Prayer. This year the theme for the day is "Prayer...America's Hope," and is based on Psalm 33:22 which declares: "May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you" (NIV).

From the very beginnings of our nation, those in leadership have known the value of calling for national days of prayer, particularly in times of trouble. Today national prayer is vital to our country during this critical time. Sadly, today on the radio I heard that this will be the first year since National Day of Prayer was established in 1952, that it will not be recognized in the Whitehouse.

But just because our weak, worldly president who calls himself a "Christian" isn't recognizing it doesn't mean we don't have to. To quote President Reagan, "One of my favorite passages in the Bible is the promise God gives us in 2 Chronicles: 'If my people, which are called by my name, shall 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.' That promise is the hope of America and of all our people." Notice in this scripture that God didn't say it would take everyone in the nation to turn things around. He said, "If My people..."

Historically, President Harry Truman signed a joint resolution by Congress in 1952 establishing an annual National Day of Prayer. Then in June 1988, President Reagan signed a bill enacting the permanent National Day of Prayer to be set as the first Thursday of May. Each year the president signs a proclamation encouraging all Americans to pray on that day.

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