In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
For Christians everywhere, every day is a day of prayer. On this day, the National Day of Prayer, all people, regardless of their religious heritage, are called on to pray for our nation, its leaders and its citizens. This year, prayer and action is especially needed, since United States District Court Judge Barbara Crabb, for the Western District of Wisconsin, struck down the National Day of Prayer statute, 36 U.S.C. § 119, as violating the Establishment Clause.