From 45,000 or more venues including public parks, courthouses, churches, community centers, government buildings and the like, concerted pleas went up to God for America on the 66th annual National Day of Prayer. And at least seven Alabama cities hosted the annual Bible Reading Marathon in the days leading up to and coming out of the day of prayer.
“O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act!” was the organized cry drawn from Daniel 9:19 on May 4, that birthed perhaps hundreds of thousands of individual prayers for various aspects of society, including governmental sectors and leaders, families, media, businesses and religion, according to event organizers.
“For Your Great Name’s Sake,” also taken from Daniel’s prayer, was the national theme.
Along with the Bible Reading Marathons in Birmingham, Heflin, Montgomery, Oneonta, Ozark, Troy and Tuscaloosa, prayer services were held around the state and across the nation.
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) President Steve Gaines called Christians to prayer and offered “A Prayer for America.”
“As Southern Baptists we believe that we should pray and ask God to bless our nation and its leaders,” Gaines said in introducing his prayer. “We should pray for our leaders and for every citizen of our nation, asking the Lord to forgive our sins and to guide us in His will in the future. We should also confess the sins of our nation and beseech the Lord to be merciful and gracious to every person in our country.”
The National Day of Prayer Task Force’s official service was held in the evening at National Statuary Hall in Washington with task force chairperson Anne Graham Lotz delivering the keynote address. Ronnie Floyd, SBC immediate past president and pastor of Cross Church in northwest Arkansas, also participated in the service.
Congress established the national event by a joint resolution in 1952 under then President Harry S. Truman, amending the resolution in 1988 under then President Ronald Reagan to set the annual event on the first Thursday in May. Every annual observance is accompanied by an official proclamation by the sitting president, this year President Donald Trump. (BP, TAB)
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