Day of prayer good for community

Published 12:02 pm Friday, May 5, 2017

Yesterday marked the National Day of Prayer, a recognition that many participated in here in Clark County.

We strongly support this recognition as it truly transcends religious faiths and focuses on simply the act of praying to a higher power. Each American can participate as they see fit.

Here is what the task force that leads the initiative nationwide says the day means:

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“The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

“Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, this day has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Every year, local, state and federal observances were held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that over two million people attended more than 30,000 observances — organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.”

Here are some interesting facts about the celebration as well, proof that it crosses political boundaries as almost nothing else does:

— There have been 144 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789 – 2015).

— There have been 67 Presidential Proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952 – 2015). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989 – 91) and Barack H. Obama (2012) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.

— Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.

— 34 of the 44 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two Presidents, not included in the count, William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding, signed proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.

— Records indicate there have been 1,419 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

We are encouraged to see our community and our country come together, even for just a little while, as we develop a stronger sense of unity and togetherness that should span all religions, races, or socioeconomic classifications.

That is the power of prayer