Today is the National Day of Prayer

Today is the National Day of Prayer, ordered by an act of Congress 54 years ago, proclaimed by President George W. Bush, and supported by millions of Americans across the nation.

While the National Day of Prayer, which falls on the first Thursday of May, is mostly a Judeo-Christian celebration, it invites the entire nation to join together in prayer for peace and grace from God.

This year’s theme is “God Shed His Grace On Thee," which is based on the Christian scripture Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (NIV)

According to Shirley Dobson, wife of renowned evangelical James Dobson and executive director of the National Day of Prayer, the theme was set because “it so clearly applies to our nation at this pivotal moment in history.”

“Whether it be the ongoing threat of terrorism or the continued erosion of the moral and biblical principles upon which our country was founded, the challenges facing us are monumental,” Dobson wrote in a statement.

Dobson also emphasized that America has “killed over 40 million babies since 1973, and saturated ourselves and our children with pornography and filth.”

“We have numbed ourselves with drugs and alcohol, and taught our kids that premarital sex is a good thing if it is simply done right. We have pursued materialism and false security, while ignoring the Architect of our souls,” she wrote.

“We need not look very far to see that our country stands in desperate need of God's healing touch.”

According to Dobson, the National Day of Prayer allows Americans to pray for the nation and to seek forgivenss collectively from the Almighty.

Meanwhile, President Bush released an official proclamation of the Day of Prayer and encouraged Americans to give thanks to the provider of blessings.

“I ask the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, each according to his or her own faith, for the liberty and blessings we have received and for God's continued guidance and protection,” Bush wrote.

Bush also encouraged Americans to observe the day with appropriate programs, ceremonies and activities.

According to the National Day of Prayer website, the highlight of the day is a National Observance in Washington, D.C. Speakers at the event will include 2005 Honorary Chairman Max Lucado, House Majority Leader Tom Delay, Dr. Gary Smalley of the Smalley Relationship Center, and Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson.

For more information on the National Day of Prayer 2005 or to read President Bush’s full statement, visit: www.nationaldayofprayer.org