The National Day of Prayer is not just a vital part of America’s heritage, but is as relevant and critical today as it was at the first call by our Continental Congress in 1775. Established in public law by a joint resolution of Congress signed by President Truman in 1952, then amended to designate the day under the 100th Congress and President Reagan in 1988, it states that “The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals.”
As our nation struggles with foreign and domestic threats, economic insecurity, cultural tensions, and continual challenges to basic constitutional rights, citizens of the United States are preparing to heed the call by our elected leaders to exercise one of their most precious freedoms – the right to gather, turn to God, and pray. In response, millions will assemble at thousands of local events across the nation, where they will take time out of their daily schedules to intercede on behalf of their communities, their nation, and their leaders.
The theme for the 2017 National Day of Prayer observation is For Your Great Name's Sake. Based upon Daniel 9:19, it emphasizes our need as a nation, to cry out to God, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, "O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act!"
Best-selling, award-winning author and speaker, and founder and president of AnGeL Ministries, Anne Graham Lotz , serves as the Chair person of the National Day of Prayer, and will give the keynote address at the National Observance in Washington, D.C.
The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.