Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Taking it Apart: National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is Ours

The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: “We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”

The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.

Historical Summary

1775 – The first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer
1863 – Abraham Lincoln called for such a day.
1952 – Congress established NDP as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Truman (82-324). Harry S. Truman declares a National Day of Prayer and signs into law an annual observance there of – United States Congress passed Joint Resolution 382 on April 17, 1952/ President Truman signs Public Law 82-324 (Public Law 82-324; 66 Stat. 64—April 17, 1952).
1988 – The law was amended and signed by President Reagan, designating the NDP as the first Thursday in May (100-307). Ronald Reagan signs into law the designation of the first Thursday in May as the annual observance for the National Day of Prayer – President Reagan signs Public Law 100-307 January 25, 1988, in the Second Session of the One Hundredth Congress (Public Law 100-307—May 5, 1988).

Fun Facts

1) There have been 136 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789-2010).

2) There have been 58 Presidential Proclamations for a “National Day of Prayer” (1952-2010).

3) Gerald Ford (1976) and George H. Bush (1989-91) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign two National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.

4) Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.

5) 33 of the 44 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Four of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office.

6) Records indicate there have been 914 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

We Gather as a Community May 5, 2011

YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow and the YMCA of Greater San Antonio will gather as one Y to honor this long held tradition. No matter who you pray to, what your beliefs are, or what you are doing on this day of prayer, join CFA for a moment of silence at 1 pm, May 5, 2011. In honor of this, we ask that you wear your CFA gear (shirts, hats, bracelets, etc) to show your support.

In the Spirit of Camp,


The above information, history and facts taken directly from National Day of Prayer.

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