By Sherrie Norris
On Thursday, May 4, Christians around the country will be gathering to observe National Day of Prayer, held each year on the first Thursday of May, with a focus on prayer for our nation and its leadership.
This year’s theme is “Pray Fervently In Righteousness And Avail Much,” based on scripture found in James 5:16.
With thousands of events planned across the United States on Thursday, several prayer events will be held in and around the High Country.
Two of the larger gatherings, and open to the public, include those hosted by theWatauga County Pastor’s Prayer Fellowship on Thursday; the first at The Jones House lawn in Boone at 12:15 p.m. and later, at Perkinsville Baptist Church at 7 pm.
The Watauga County Pastors Prayer Fellowship is a group of pastors and elders from Christian denominations in Watauga County who meet monthly for prayer and fellowship.
“We felt that the National Day of Prayer is a great day to invite the community to gather together to pray for our community, state and nation,” said Wesley Smith, member of the Watauga County Pastor’s Prayer Fellowship and Director of Missions at Three Forks Baptist Association.
Another member of the fellowship group, Ben Cox, a member at Alliance Bible Fellowship and former local pastor, added, “Our prayer fellowship is unified around the Lordship of Jesus Christ alone as the head of the church and we are His body whose purpose is to bring the light, love and truth of Jesus Christ into the darkness of the world as Jesus Himself told us in John 3:16-21.”
The midday prayer time at the Jones House will last about 30 minutes to allow participants to attend on their lunch break, said Smith. “We did this for those who work in Boone, but may live in the outer areas of the county, or even outside the county, and may not be able to return for the evening gathering.”
The evening prayer event at Perkinsville Baptist Church, on Jefferson Rd. in Boone, will last approximately one hour.
What Is A National Day of Prayer?
Christians have been gathering corporately for national prayer since 1952, when a joint resolution of the United States Congress was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
In 1983, the first official National Day of Prayer observance was held, organized by the National Prayer C, taking place at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C. with featured speakers Vice President George Bush and Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie.
Several amendments have been made to the bill through time, with the most recent in 1988 declaring the following: The President shall set aside and proclaim the First Thursday in May in each year, as a National Day of Prayer, on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
The observance is overseen by a privately funded task force whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer and to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families.
The task force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on the understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.
For 25 years, Shiley Dobson served as Chair of the NDP Task Force, succeed by Anne Graham Lotz for one year. In 2017, Dr. Ronnie Floyd was appointed as the President of the NDP Task Force phasing out the position of chairman. Since 2019, Kathy Branzell has served as the president of the NDP Task force.
For more information on the National Day of Prayer, visit nationaldayofprayer.org.
For more information regarding local observances, contact
Wesley Smith- [email protected] 828-264-4482.
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