National Day of Prayer Today
Special Report - May 7, 2009
Today, millions of Americans will gather in their homes, in their churches, at national monuments and town squares to pray for our nation, our leaders, and our military in observance of the 58th annual National Day of Prayer (NDP). In honor of the event, Governor Beverly Purdue has issued an official proclamation recognizing today as the “National Day of Prayer” in North Carolina. It states in part that, “it is good that we acknowledge that we are all God’s handiwork and it is appropriate that we call on Him in prayer.” It also urges North Carolinians “to gather in their homes, places of work and places of worship, to pray for the unity of the hearts of all mankind, and to continue in prayer for State and our Nation.”
Thousands of NDP events are scheduled nationwide, including in cities and towns across North Carolina. The national observance will be held in Washington, D.C., and broadcast live on the Internet and on television. The theme for the 2009 NDP, which is based on Psalm 33:22, is “Prayer…America’s Hope,” and author and speaker Beth Moore is the Honorary Chair. In her 2009 “Prayer for the Nation,” the Beth Moore states, in part: “Father in Heaven, We lift our eyes toward Your Throne, where You reign in righteousness. Your Word assures us that when Your people cry out in sincerity and humility, You will never turn a deaf ear to us. We call upon You now, seeking Your forgiveness and favor. Look over this fevered landscape and heal us, Lord. Drop knees to the floor and raise eyes to the sky, for we know where our help comes from . …”
The White House announced earlier this week that President Obama will not be attending or hosting any NDP events but would release a Presidential Proclamation declaring May 7, 2009 the “National Day of Prayer.” In years past, several U.S. presidents, including Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush have hosted NDP events, such as prayer breakfasts, at the White House, in addition to issuing proclamations in honor of the NDP.
This year’s NDP is especially important, as the NDP Task Force faces a legal challenge brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF). The FFRF filed a lawsuit last year against NDP Chair, Shirley Dobson, as well as other members of the task force, claiming that it worked with the government to organize the event. The NDP task force is being defended in the lawsuit by the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), which has launched the “Save the National Day of Prayer” campaign.
“Since the days of our Founding Fathers, the government has protected and encouraged public prayer and other expressions of dependence upon God,” said Shirley Dobson. “However, there has been a concerted effort by a small but determined number of people who have tried to prohibit all public references to the Creator, whether it be in the Ten Commandments, the Pledge of Allegiance, or a simple act of corporate prayer. This is unconscionable for a free society.”
To find local events, go here.
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