Prayers in the park
National Day of Prayer held in Fickel Park, Thursday, May 5
By May Soricelli
Calvary Berthoud is hosting its second community-wide prayer event at Fickel Park on May 5 as part of the National Day of Prayer.
“It’s open to all; Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Christian, even those who are undecided. There’s no certain church that’s right or wrong. It’s just for all those who believe,” said Lisa Adams, community outreach coordinator at Calvary Berthoud.
The National Day of Prayer is a long-standing designation by the United States Congress to bring the country together in prayer over the protection and prosperity of American borders.
Historical roots of the National Day of Prayer go back to the late 1700s when American colonists protested British rule with a National Day of Prayer. In 1799 President John Adams made the proclamation “Recommending a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer,” in which he stated: “And I do also recommend that with these acts of humiliation, penitence, and prayer fervent thanksgiving to the Author of All Good be united for the countless favors which He is still continuing to the people of the United States, and which render their condition as a nation eminently happy when compared with the lot of others,” according to the American Presidency Project’s website.
In 1952 President Harry S. Truman instituted the official National Day of Prayer. That same year, during the Korean war, evangelist Billy Graham held a revival in Washington, D.C. on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and spoke to a large gathering.
“What a thrilling, glorious thing it would be to see the leaders of our country today kneeling before Almighty God in prayer. What a thrill would sweep this country. What renewed hope and courage would grip the Americans at this hour of peril,” according to Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s website.
Proclamation 5017, given by President Ronald Reagan on Jan. 27, 1983, “National Day of Prayer”:
“From General Washington’s struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this Nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our Nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future. Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Thursday, May 5, 1983, National Day of Prayer. I call upon every citizen of this great Nation to gather together on that day in homes and places of worship to pray, each after his or her own manner, for unity of the hearts of all mankind,” according to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum website.
Despite the Freedom From Religion’s case to sue the government in 2008 in opposition of the National Day of Prayer, the case was dismissed in 2011, according to Freedom From Religion’s website.
Last year’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation was given by President Barack Obama, “I invite the citizens of our Nation to give thanks, in accordance with their own faiths and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I join all people of faith in asking for God’s continued guidance, mercy, and protection as we seek a more just world.” according to National Day of Prayer Task Force’s website.
The leaders of Calvary Berthoud want to give the community a chance to gather and pray together from 7 to 9 p.m., May 5, with no particular structure to the time, just individuals taking turns lifting up their prayers. According to the National Day of Prayer task force who supplies materials and promotes the event, “The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.”
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