Today is the National Day of Prayer, a U.S. recognized day enacted in 1952. President Reagan set the national day as May 5th (though it was later amended to being the first Thursday in May of every year).
"[T]he National Day of Prayer has become a great unifying force for our citizens who come from all great religions of the world. Prayer unites people," President Reagan proclaimed in 1983.
People are showing their observance in a number of different ways. The National Day of Prayer Task Force is a privately funded organization that promotes participation in the prayer day, and its website lists prayer events across the nation that followers can attend. As part of the internet age, people are also posting their prayers online (on Twitter this morning, #nationaldayofprayer was among the top ten most tweeted topics).
Prayer is also being used as a tool for action. Here are some ways that DoSomething.org users have taken action through prayer.
- DoSomething.org user Danielle leads sewing activities in order to provide dresses for girls in developing countries. She asks for users to support the effort through praying or donating fabric.
- Any user can include a prayer of support for the people of Japan on a paper crane. Then, the person can upload it to Facebook.
- These students created a prayer group that promotes positive mental health.
- Amercans can show supporrts for their troops by sending a prayer within a care package to a soldier overseas.
- Approaching the ten year anniversary of 9/11, young people are creating memorials and hosting vigils which include a time and space for prayers of remembrance.