The National Day of Prayer this year is on Thursday, May 5. The day is celebrated every year on the first Thursday in May, but the date is not always the same. Rev. Billy Graham was instrumental in getting the day approved as a significant day for people of all faiths. It was reported that he led a worship service outside the U.S. Capitol and said it would be great to see political leaders praying together. Within two months of that remark, President Harry S. Truman signed the bill in April 1952.

Every United States president during his administration was allowed to choose the day of the year to be the National Day Of Prayer. Thanks to President Ronald Reagan, he signed into law that the observance would be the same every year starting in 1988. This is so much better so people will know how to plan ahead for their events. Throughout the years, presidents have added proclamations to the original law. That means they proclaimed something else relating to the day's activities that they wanted the public to take part in.

May 4, 2017

There is a designated chairperson for each year. The responsibility this year has been given to Anne Graham Lotz. The 68-year-old chairperson is the second daughter of Evangelist Billy Graham. The author of 11 books will deliver the keynote speech on Thursday night at an event in Washington, DC. The event is expected to be attended by many people, as well as watched online from 7:30-9 p.m.

The theme this year is “For Your Great Name’s Sake: Hear Us, Forgive Us, Heal Us.” This particular scripture is Daniel 9:19. Thousands of observances are held across the United States with events being held in public places such as in schools, businesses, communities, and in places of worship. Gatherings are also being held in front of courthouses. Events include prayer sessions and prayer-related musical performances.

Some people have private prayer events with their families at home.

President Trump

This year's National Day of Prayer is the first one that has come since Donald Trump has been president. Whether It was deliberately planned or if it is a coincidence, he is going to New York City to sign an executive order about religious freedom on this year's National Day of Prayer. The order deals with controversial issues, including identifying a clear definition of religious freedom, stating how employers could object to employees' benefits, and how acts of religious freedom can be investigated by the Department of Justice.

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