Pray For Our Nation Today
Special Report - May 6, 2010
Today, thousands of Americans will join together in public and private gatherings to pray for our nation, our leaders, and for one another during the 59th annual National Day of Prayer (NDP). The theme for this year’s NDP is “Prayer for such a time as this,” and the honorary chairman is Franklin Graham. The long-standing American tradition has taken on new meaning in the midst of increasing attacks from secularist groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which is challenging the event in an ongoing lawsuit. As we previously reported, U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb ruled on April 15 that the NDP statutewhich was signed into law by President Truman in 1952violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The FFRF has used the decision to urge local and state-level government leaders not to participate in the 2010 NDP, despite the fact that Judge Crabb stayed her ruling until all appeals in the case are exhausted. The Obama administration announced last month that it is appealing Judge Crabb’s ruling.
Despite the FFRF’s best efforts, both President Barack Obama and North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue have issued proclamations, officially declaring today the 2010 National Day of Prayer. In the White House proclamation issued April 30, President Obama noted the long history of Americans turning to prayer. “We are blessed to live in a Nation that counts freedom of conscience and free exercise of religion among its most fundamental principles, thereby ensuring that all people of goodwill may hold and practice their beliefs according to the dictates of their consciences,” the proclamation states. “Prayer has been a sustaining way for many Americans of diverse faiths to express their most cherished beliefs, and thus we have long deemed it fitting and proper to publicly recognize the importance of prayer on this day across the Nation.”
Mentioning the disasters in Haiti, Chile and West Virginia, as well as our men and women serving in the Armed Forces, the president called upon Americans “to pray, or otherwise give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all people of faith to join me in asking for God's continued guidance, grace, and protection as we meet the challenges before us.”
Governor Perdue issued a proclamation on May 6, urging North Carolinians “to join together 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 our State and our Nation.” The proclamation also points out that that “National Days of Prayers have been part of our country’s heritage since the first one was declared by the Continental Congress in 1775,” and that “it is good that we acknowledge that we are all God’s handiwork and it is appropriate to call upon Him in prayer.”
For more information on the National Day of Prayer or for information on various events across the nation, including locally, go here.
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