Last year, more than 20 million people attended more than 30,000 observances organized by 40,000 volunteers on the National Day of Prayer. People stopped what they were doing and gathered for prayer at their churches, businesses, homes, on the steps of city halls, country court houses, state capitals.
The national event continues to grow in popularity in the midst of protests especially by secular humanists and atheists who have responded by promoting their own event, The National Day of Reason. Representatives for the National day of Prayer Task Force claims that interest in hosting Christian prayer events has increased this year by 35 percent. Listings for thousands of events can be found on their website. Though it's largely a Christian event and has strong Protestant roots, there is also an increased number of interfaith events bringing Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and others together.
Every year, the President issues a proclamation on the Day of Prayer. In Obama's statement this year, he asked "all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy" and called for "individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great Nation."
Many popular Christian artists are writing in their tweet to honor this day as well.
@Michaelwsmith tweeted, "National Day of Prayer '12 in the U.S... Take some extra time to pray for your family, friends, and for our country!"
@NatialieGrant shared a photo with an "I Prayed" badge http://bit.ly/IGXgCn and tweeted, "Honored to celebrate the National Day Of Prayer with the great state of Texas."
In 1952, President Truman declared an annual national day of prayer with no particular date set. Since 1988, The National Day of Prayer has been officially set by President Reagon to be observed on the first Thursday in May.
Will you join in praying today? What is your prayer topic?