May 8, 2007

Liberty honors National Day of Prayer

by By Fernanda Rezende and David Allison
Liberty honored the annual 56th National Day of Prayer this past Thursday, May 3, but instead of meeting outside as planned, the rain forced students to join in intercession for the United States inside the Vines Center. The National Day of Prayer is a day set aside for Americans to pray for the nation, the world and church leadership.

This year’s theme was “America, Unite in Prayer,” based on 2 Chronicles 7:14: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (NIV).
 
Liberty’s program began around 7 p.m. with Ben Ingle, a senior and Army ROTC cadet, leading the Pledge of Allegiance followed by a short worship ensemble led by the campus Worship Pastor, David McKinney.

“You will only know how to pray corporately if you know how to pray personally,” said Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore when he spoke before leading the prayer session. Moore directed the students to pray specifically for national leaders and the military, pastors in the United States and around the world, American families and schools – with an emphasis on Virginia Tech – and the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our generation.

Students were dismissed with a call from Moore to reflect upon the fact that “we are a nation in desperate need of prayer.” Explaining that he enjoyed the emphasis of the evening, Moore said, “My favorite part of tonight was that there was no other agenda, no speaker, no order of service – there was one thing, and that was to pray. What’s going to change America? What’s going to change our hearts? It’s going to be Christians living as we are called to live and that is on our knees.”

The National Day of Prayer began with a joint resolution of Congress in 1952 that was signed by President Harry S. Truman. The resolution was further amended in 1988 when President Reagan declared the day an annual event and permanently set it as the first Thursday of every May. Since that time, every President has signed a proclamation on the National Day of Prayer calling upon Americans to pray. According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force’s Web site, all state and territory governors signed similar proclamations last year.

Calls of prayer from the U.S. government have existed since the nation’s founding. In 1775, the First Continental Congress called for such a day, and Abraham Lincoln also called for a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer” in 1863.

President George W. Bush continued to recognize the importance of the day with a proclamation released April 20, 2007 he said: “A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge. On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God’s grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our nation.”

Contact Fernanda Rezende at fprezende@liberty.edu and contact David Allison at dallison2@liberty.edu.
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