“For Your Great Name’s Sake” is the theme for 2017 National Day of Prayer, an annual event inspired by Reverend Billy Graham and signed into law by President Harry Truman in April 1952. The theme is based off Daniel 9:19.
“O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your sake, O my God…” -Daniel 9:19
America has faced its fair share of difficult days since President Truman proclaimed the first National Day of Prayer and today isn’t any different. Although there is division within America, division amongst political lines and religious freedoms, threats of war and uncertainty of the future is commonplace, America is remains the land of the free, one nation under God, remaining strong in its faith and unity.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order, “Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty”, on his first National Day of Prayer as President of the United States of America. President Trump began recognizing the day by having dinner at the White House on Wednesday evening, May 3, with religious leaders. Prior to signing the executive order the president spoke at the annually held Rose Garden event in observance of the day of prayer. Amongst those in attendance included religious leaders and White House staff. President Trump stated religious liberty would be led by his administration as an example in the United States.
The Religious Liberty executive order, signed by President Trump, gives religious tax-exempt organizations and churches the freedom to endorse or oppose political candidates without repercussions by the Internal Revenue Service.
“We are giving our churches their voices back,” stated Trump during his speech at the Annually held rose garden national day of prayer event.
Additionally the order gives regulatory relief to religious organizations and companies from being mandated, on grounds of religion, to pay for certain health care services. Under Obamacare companies had to pay for healthcare services that were otherwise opposed on grounds of religion.
“We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced again and we will never stand for religious discrimination,” Trump stated prior to signing the executive order.
The Religious Liberty Executive Order now states it is an administrative policy “to state and vigorously promote religious liberty.”
PRESIDENTIAL OBSERVANCES OF NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER – HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Two months prior to President Truman declaring a national day of prayer, Rev. Graham led a worshipping service outside the U.S. capitol where he is famously known for saying how wonderful it would be for political leaders to kneel in prayer together.
“What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before Almighty God in prayer. What a thrill would sweep this country.” -Reverend Billy Graham, 1952.
A bill to proclaim a National Day of Prayer was drafted by Congress following Rev. Graham’s visit and signed into law by President Truman in April 1952. The original bill allowed each president to choose the day they wanted to observe as the National Day of Prayer. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan amended the bill to officially affirm the first Thursday of May each year as National Day of Prayer.
During President Barrack Obama’s term it was rumored he’d canceled the day of prayer but that has since been proven untrue. The rumor is speculated to have surfaced because President Obama, unlike he predecessors, did not observe the national day of prayer or host any annual events to recognition of the day.
Prior to President Barrack Obama, President Ronald Reagan observed and held events in the Rose Garden for the national day of prayer, President George H. Bush spoke for several National Day of Prayer events and President Bill Clinton invited guests to the White House for prayer to observe the National Day of Prayer.
Although the day was not observed by President Obama he did write proclamations each year of his presidency for the day of prayer as has each president since 1952 when the day was established under President Truman.
It is estimated millions of prayer warriors across The United States of America participated in 2017 National Day of Prayer to pray for the leaders of America, national and local representatives, The United States Military and their families, for freedom has never been free. May it be remembered in the hearts and minds of Americans that the leaders of today are paving the future of the nations youth, who will one day, be asked to step up and lead. Those praying aren’t only saying a prayer for the leaders of today but for the future leaders of tomorrow to lead according to the values and principles founded by the American leaders of yesterday.
Learn more about the National Day of Prayer at http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
Information herein obtained from the following resources:
Cheatham News (c) 2017