National Day of Prayer Focusing on Bible Verse 1 Kings 8:28 'Lord, Hear Our Cry' Is Expecting 43,000 Gatherings, the Largest in Its History

The 64th annual National Day of Prayer is expected to have its largest number of participants in over 60 years Monday as political and religious leaders join local residents in praying for the nation.

(Photo: Reuters/Mark Wilson)A gathering of evangelical Christians in Washington is shown in this undated file photo.

"We are anticipating the largest day of prayer from coast to coast with more than 43,000 prayer gatherings," John Bornschein, vice chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force and an executive member of the National Prayer Committee, told The Christian Post.

"This coming year marks the 64th anniversary of this important day and we fully expect that the president will sign a proclamation as well as all 50 state governors. Already nearly 40 proclamations have been received and counting."

For this year, the theme of the widely observed Day of Prayer will be "Lord, Hear Our Cry" and is accompanied by the Bible verse 1 Kings 8:28, which reads "Hear the cry and the prayer that your servant is praying in your presence this day."

Bornschein elaborated on the theme to CP, saying it emphasizes "the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men."

"We believe that God can bring about another great awakening in our nation if we humble ourselves and pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways," said Bornschein.

Begun in 1952 as an act approved by the U.S. Congress, the National Day of Prayer has been observed for over six decades.

Presidents across the political spectrum have signed proclamations in support of the date, calling upon Americans to pray for the benefit of the nation.

The event has not been shy of controversy, as church and state watchdog groups have argued that the National Day of Prayer is an unconstitutional government endorsement of religion.

In 2010, one judge declared the observance unconstitutional only to have the decision overturned by a unanimous ruling from a three-judge appellate panel.

Bornschein also told CP that he believes "there is still hope for America" if prayer and repentance are given on a national scale.

"The Almighty is waiting for Americans to turn back to Him in a posture of prayer and repentance. May we, this day, determine to surrender our ways to Him, giving God the honor He deserves so that, as Psalm 85 states, 'His glory may dwell in our land,'" said Bornschein.