National Day of Prayer - A Tradition & A Privilege

May 05, 2016 Hannah Hochstetler

I remember attending class in elementary school where we had different times allotted throughout the day for activities other than reading or math. On some days we had music, other days art or physical education, but on Thursdays we had Bible class. That’s not something you hear a lot of in today’s public schools.

I attended a public school in a small Indiana town. Our Bible class was much like a church Sunday school: we had a verse of the week, and learned Bible stories by way of a felt story board. Occasionally, missionaries and pastors from the community would come and tell us stories from their years abroad, and let us ask any questions about God and ministry that we wanted.

As a pastor’s daughter, I had grown up surrounded by believers and thought that all elementary schools had a Bible class for their students, just as mine did. It wasn’t until college when I truly realized how blessed I was to have grown up in a community that valued faith and its importance in our culture.

As time passed, I slowly began to realize that the world I live in is not the same as the community I grew up in. It is evident that our nation is drifting further and further from the principles it was founded on; “…One nation, under God…”

National Day of Prayer has long been a tradition in the USA, going all the way back to the first call of prayer in 1775 when Congress requested the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming the nation. While things have greatly changed since that time, we still have the opportunity to unite as a country and join together in prayer for our nation, and what an amazing privilege that is!

We celebrate this privilege as we join with our brothers and sisters in praying for our country throughout the day, but also corporately and simultaneously through a prayer to be read at noon (ET) across the nation.

“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.” - from the National Day of Prayer Website

For more information about the National Day of Prayer, the National Day of Prayer Task Force and how you can get involved, please visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.


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