NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
The National Day of Prayer is held annually on the first Thursday in May. This day of observance, designated by the United States Congresse, asks people “to turn to God in pray and meditation”.
The modern law formalizing the annual National Day of Prayer observance was enacted in 1952 and each year since, the president of the United States has signed a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.
Prior to 1952, there were a few other individual National Days of Prayer in United States history.
- July 20, 1775 – The Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending “a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be observed.
- In 1795 – George Washington proclaimed a day of public thanksgiving and prayer.
- May 9, 1798 – John Adams declared this day as “a day of solemn humility, fasting, and prayer”.
- March, 1863 – On March 3, Abraham Lincoln signed a Congressional resolution, during the Civil War, which called for April 30, 1863 as a day of fasting and prayer.
The theme for National Day of Prayer 2013 is “Pray for America”.