On Thursday, Americans across all 50 states will gather in churches, local businesses, the steps of city halls, schools, neighborhoods and public gathering places for a day of public prayer for the United States of America.
Thursday is the National Day of Prayer. While the National Day of Prayer has occurred since 1952, 31 years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed a law designating it as always being the first Thursday of May.
This year’s National Day of Prayer theme is “Love One Another.” The theme comes from the words of Jesus in John 13:34, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you.”
“We tend to forget that Jesus didn’t say we would be known by our creeds or by our knowledge or how much we know about the Bible — He said we would be known only by our love,” Dr. Ronnie Floyd said when revealing the 2019 theme at a leadership summit last fall. “And love has been painfully absent in America in so many ways.”
Floyd is the president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, which mobilizes Americans to participate in prayer gatherings on the day of the observance.
On Thursday evening, Floyd will lead the National Observance, which will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. In attendance will be a few members of Congress as well as hundreds of American faith leaders.
The National Observance will bring together a multiethnic, cross-denominational coalition of participants.
Among these are the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the Rev. Anthony B. Thompson and Julio Arriola, a missionary to Mexico.
Thompson is pastor of the Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church of Charleston and the author of “Called to Forgive” (June 4), a book about the 2015 Charleston shooting at the Emanuel AME Church.
His wife, Myra Thompson, was one of the nine people who were killed at the church shooting.
Andrew Brunson — who last year was released from prison after spending 2 years in a Turkish jail for his faith — and his wife Norine also will participate in the event, along with Jay and Diane Strack.
Jay Strack is the founder of Student Leadership University, and Diane is the co-founder of National Women’s Prayer Movement. The renowned Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers will lead worship.
In 2018, an estimated 50,000 gatherings across all 50 states were held on the National Day of Prayer.
More than 1 million people from 38 countries viewed the broadcast of the National Observance. The 2018 theme, “Pray for America — Unity” went viral and trended No. 1 nationwide on Twitter throughout the day.
The National Observance will be streamed live on Daystar Television Network and on the organization’s website (NationalDayofPrayer.org) and Facebook page.
Cleburne National Day of Prayer fatherings
• 7 a.m. at Cleburne Bible Church, Room 101, 930 N. Nolan River Road.
• Noon at Guinn Justice Center, 204 S. Buffalo Ave.
• 6:30 p.m. at Hope Church, 2125 N. Nolan River Road.
For information about Cleburne’s events, visit facebook.com/CleburneNDP or call Karen Spillman at 817-514-4069.