WASHINGTON, May 7, 2015 – The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Lord, Hear Our Cry.” The theme comes from I Kings 8:28: “Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day.”
In 1952 the first Thursday in May was aside by Congress as the official day when all faiths, Christians, Jewish, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists and all others could take the time to pause and focus on how prayer can be used as a powerful instrument for justice and peace in America and around the world.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, celebrated the event Thursday in a brief video. He stressed,
“When you look at the number of Christians being killed in the Middle East – killed because of their faith – I think it’s time for all us to take a moment and say a prayer for them, because they need our help today.”
— Speaker John Boehner (@SpeakerBoehner) May 7, 2015
— Patricia McNeill (@csnewmexico) May 7, 2015
Today is the #NationalDayofPrayer . So thankful to live in a country with freedom of religion.
— Chuck Lofton (@ChuckWTHR) May 7, 2015
Prayer is still a critical component in the daily activity of a majority of Americans according to a 2013 Pew Research Religious Landscape Survey. Based upon their compilation of all religious groups surveyed, nationally 58 percent of Americans pray daily, while 17 percent of Americans pray weekly.
On this National Day of Prayer a special event to celebrate the day was held in Washington D.C. at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. The expected speakers included Rep. Robert Aderholt, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, the Rev. Father Hathaway, Dr. Jack Graham, Shirley Dobson, Alex Kendrick, Vonette Bright, Rep. Louie Gohmert, Senate Chaplain Barry Black, the Legacy Quartet, Dr. Dick Eastman, Dr. David Butts, John Bornschein and many more.
National Day of Prayer events have been scheduled across America including Tallahassee, Fla., Sommerville, N.J., Lebanon, Tenn., and Johnstown, Pa., among many other towns.
In Milwaukee, Gov. Scott Walker attended a National Day of Prayer breakfast
The president acknowledged the National Day of Prayer in his Presidential Proclamation by saying,
“Today, as we join together in fellowship, we seek to see our own reflection in the struggle of others, to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers, and to keep faith — in one another, in the promise of our Nation, and in the Almighty.”
Unfortunately, on a day that Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindi, Sikh and more are seeking guidance, the president has neglected to recognize this important day, attending a DNC fundraiser but not participating in National Day of Prayer activities.
Those on the left, including the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, bemoan the annual recognition, saying the National Day of Prayer “is a sectarian event with roots in fundamentalist Christianity. A joint resolution passed by Congress in 1952 asks the president to set aside one day per year so “the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation.”
The roots may be deep into 1950s era Christianity, but prayer in America is no longer one thing. But those prayers, of many people, can be for one thing. Christianity is under attack in the Middle East, and here in America. Jews are under attack in Israel and here in the United States. The religion of Islam is under attack from radical fundamentalists.
Keeping faith is hard. Christians are not the only ones that pray.