For those of you who are unaware, today is the National Day of Prayer. Their mission is to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, mobilizing the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership in the seven centers of power: Government, Military, Media, Business, Education, Church and Family.
Here's a little history about it:
The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln's proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
It is truly unfortunate that our president will not observe this day...
*Washington Times article:
President Obama is distancing himself from the National Day of Prayer by nixing a formal early morning service and not attending a large Catholic prayer breakfast the next morning.
All Mr. Obama will do for the National Day of Prayer, which is Thursday, is sign a proclamation honoring the day, which originated in 1952 when Congress set aside the first Thursday in May for the observance.
For the past eight years, President George W. Bush invited selected Christian and Jewish leaders to the White House East Room, where he typically would give a short speech and several leaders offered prayers.
Obama White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday that the president is simply reverting back to pre-Bush administration practice.
"Prayer is something the president does every day," he said. "We're doing a proclamation, which I know that many administrations in the past have done."
Pressed by reporters as to the lack of a formal ceremony, Mr. Gibbs said the proclamation was Mr. Obama's choice.
"That's the way the president will publicly observe National Prayer Day - privately, he'll pray as he does every day," Mr. Gibbs said.
Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Committee, said the group was "disappointed in the lack of participation by the Obama administration."
"At this time in our country's history, we would hope our president would recognize more fully the importance of prayer," said Mrs. Dobson, who occupied a prominent seat in the front row for the ceremonies during the Bush administration.
I do truly hope that our president is praying privately and that he does make this an every day occurrence. But, it is quite disconcerting and disheartening that he chooses not to observe it publicly and show the country his faith. Is he ashamed? Worried about losing the atheist vote? Concerned about "offending" people?
Whatever the case may be, the president will definitely be in my prayers.