National Day of Prayer targets leaders

Published 9:33 am Thursday, May 4, 2017

Oxford will join thousands of individuals, communities and churches across the United States to honor the annual National Day of Prayer today. A prayer service was held at First Baptist Church just after noon.

Nationally, similar events will take place during the day and in the evening as a means to pray for our nation and our leaders.

The National Day of Prayer has been held on the first Thursday in May every year since 1952 and was created to encourage people of all faiths to pray for our nation.

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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.

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

Rob Sigler is managing editor of The Oxford
EAGLE. Contact him at