In 1952, the Congress of the United States of America established a National Day of Prayer as an annual event by a joint resolution. This resolution was signed into law by President Harry Truman, who called for the nation to take time “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” Every president over the last 62 years, regardless of political or religious affiliation, has proclaimed a National Day of Prayer which is now set by law to be observed on the first Thursday of May (today) each year.
The roots of this day of prayer may be said to go back to 1775 when, on the very eve of the US War of Independence, the First Continental Congress called for a day of prayer. Today such public devotion may seem foreign to many, but the principle of approaching God in a spirit of national rededication is itself an echo of such days in biblical times. The National Day of Prayer is a great opportunity for us to give thanks and to remember the spiritual problems and needs of our nation.