Held each year on the first Thursday of May, the National Day of Prayer invites people of all faiths to offer prayers for America.
Elmore explained that the task force works to support, publicize and reinforce this call to prayer. While the National Day of Prayer is not a specifically Christian event, the task force focuses on calling Christians to “support our nation” by participating in the annual prayer day.
On May 3, hundreds of groups will be holding prayer events in cities throughout the country. The National Day of Prayer Task Force will hold an event at the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., with speakers including noted author and pastor Dr. David Jeremiah.
The practice of calling for God’s guidance and assistance is a “long-established tradition in our country,” said Elmore.
He explained that the First Continental Congress called for a day of prayer in 1775 as it worked to form a new nation. Presidents including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln also called for days of prayer.
In 1952, a National Day of Prayer was established by a joint resolution of Congress, and in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a law permanently establishing the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday of May each year.