U.S. Celebrates the National
Day of Prayer in May
Every first Thursday in May,
many Americans participate in the National Day of Prayer. The event
was first celebrated in 1775. Today the special day, established by
an Act of Congress, is designated for prayer for the nation, its people,
and its leaders.
Although most religions are
represented and no religion is discriminated against, the majority of
participants are Protestant, Roman Catholic and Jewish. This year, prayer
observances took place in all fifty states with over 15,000 events planned
from prayer breakfasts and rallies to concerts and student activities
at public schools.
One event this year took
place at Davis Chinese Christian Church, organized by several church
leaders in the area along with Christian clubs affiliated with the University
of California - Davis.
Two of the students participating
expressed how important these activities were to the strength that unity
builds among Christians.
"I think that the
kingdom of God is like a family," said Henri Moreau, a member
of Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship. "All differences are put aside
and we are able to care for one another. When we get together in places
like this, (people) begin to see that we're a big family."
"It's important for
God's children to come together," Buckeldee said, "Even
if we live in different parts of the country - if you live life with
God's love, that's what's important."
Across the country in the
state capitol of Maryland, several Christians participated in a round-the-clock
reading of Scripture from Sunday, April 29 to Thursday, May 3. Members
of twenty-six churches from several denominations took turns reading
the Scripture in the public square in an effort to get the Word of God
out to the public.
"Every time you read
it (the Bible), God reveals something new...You can't read it too
many times. I just feel it's something that community needs to hear
if they will listen." (Mary Romer of Bay Rigde Christian Church)
"It's really a privilege...I
love it. I really am thankful because we live in a nation where we
can do this without persecution." (Rev. Frances Oliver of Calvary
Chapel International Worship Center)
On the National Day of Prayer,
the reading marathan was concluded with a group reading of Rev. Billy
Graham's "Prayer for the Nation."
This makes the third year
for the annual event. Participants are encouraged by the acceptance
and interest toward those observing the reading and are eager for the
marathon to continue and increase in popularity among Maryland residents.
"Anytime I can say a
word from the Lord so it gets to the people, I'm happy..Maybe people
will listen and come to the Lord." (Patricia N. Gross of Franklin
United Methodist Church)
Jeanelle Pittman, "Davis
Church Celebrates National Day of Prayer," Aggie News Writer, June
4, 2001; Theresa Winslow, "Bible Reading Marathon Comes to Lawyers
Mall," The Capital Online, May 4, 2001)
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