55th Nat'l Day of Prayer to Take New, Creative Avenues

Whether at a desk, in a car or near the four heads of America's founding fathers, millions of people from around 50,000 venues will be honoring God with prayers during the 55th annual National Day of Prayer on May 4.

The national call to prayer, continuing since former President Harry S. Truman signed a joint resolution, is rallying Christians, government officials as well as U.S. President George W. Bush together for a day to turn to and recognize God and all His blessings.

"It's like we're holding hands all across the nation when we pray that [Prayer for the Nation] in unity," said NDOP Chairman Shirley Dobson, wife of Focus on the Family founder and chairman Dr. James Dobson, in a phone interview with The Christian Post.

This year's Prayer for the Nation comes from noted author and Pastor Dr. Henry Blackaby, the 2006 Honorary Chairman.

"We're really excited about him," commented Dobson. "He prepared a wonderful prayer for the nation. We're asking people all across the nation to pray that prayer."

Prayer gatherings and support have assumed creative forms this year including a red, white and blue car #78 at the NASCAR NEXTEL CUP race at Talladega Superspeedway, a first time event at the base of Mount Rushmore and an 82-mile prayer walk in New Mexico with participants wearing t-shirts that read "How can I pray for you?"

All events and prayers will revolve around the 2006 theme "America, Honor God," which itself was conceived through prayer.

"Every year I go before the Lord and ask what's His heart for this year's theme," said Dobson, "and the theme He gave me this year is taken from 1 Samuel 2:30 ' ... Those who honor me, I will honor ...'"

"I want everyone to remember always those who honor God, He will honor. Part of the way to honor God is to pray on the National Day of Prayer."

Grammy Award-winning Rebecca St. James is the featured artist for this year's theme song and video. St. James will be performing for a new special youth outreach - a televised concert called "Freedom," scheduled to air May 3.

"I just felt like we should honor the one who has blessed America from the beginning," said Dobson. "Now we're facing another time of uncertainty, arms and cultural wars. We need to all gather on this National Day of Prayer and truly honor God.

"This country was founded on the God of the Bible, on His moral values, and on His moral principles," noted Dobson. "As long as we stay within those guidelines, [God] blesses and protects our country."