Defenders of the Faith,
As we approach the National Day of Prayer, I ask that everyone support the President's stance of keeping prayer, willful, conscious and intentional. He has taken a strong lead in returning the open discussion of the role of spirituality and prayer in our daily lives and in healing. Please support Public Law 100-307. Please take the time to write your members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, tell them that our legislative leaders they are in our prayers, that you appreciate their willingness to go into public service.
Please everyone, remember prayer, while not exclusive to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), it is an integral component of CAM. The recognition of its importance in healing should be a key component of mainstream medicine. Many of you are already working actively to bring spirituality into mainstream medicine. We appreciate your ongoing support.
And while you are at it, please remember the veteran - the men and women who put their lives on the line to preserve our right to pray freely and openly, without fear of censure. Our VA hospitals and nursing homes are full of veterans from World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm - they need you to remember them in your prayers and through your actions.
Remember Memorial Day weekend is not just a holiday weekend, but a celebration of those who gave their lives to keep us free. Go to your local VA and visit a Vet Memorial Day weekend!
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THE WHITE HOUSE
NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2002
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Since our Nation's founding, Americans have turned to prayer for inspiration, strength, and guidance. In times of trial, we ask God for wisdom, courage, direction, and comfort. We offer thanks for the countless blessings God has provided. And we thank God for sanctifying every human life by creating each of us in His image. As we observe this National Day of Prayer, we call upon the Almighty to continue to bless America and her people.
Especially since September 11, millions of Americans have been led to prayer. They have prayed for comfort in a time of grief, for understanding in a time of anger, and for protection in a time of uncertainty. We have all seen God's great faithfulness to our country. America's enemies sought to weaken and destroy us through acts of terror. None of us would ever wish on anyone what happened on September 11th. Yet tragedy and sorrow none of us would choose have brought forth wisdom, courage, and generosity. In the face of terrorist attacks, prayer provided Americans with hope and strength for the journey ahead.
God has blessed our Nation beyond measure. We give thanks for our families and loved ones, for the abundance of our land and the fruits of labor, for our inalienable rights and liberties, and for a great Nation that leads the world in efforts to preserve those rights and liberties. We give thanks for all those across the world who have joined with America in the fight against terrorism. We give thanks for the men and women of our military, who are fighting to defend our Nation and the future of civilization.
We continue to remember those who are suffering
and face hardships. We pray for peace throughout the world.
On this National Day of Prayer, I encourage Americans to remember the words of St. Paul: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." The Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, has called on our citizens to reaffirm the role of prayer in our society and to honor the religious diversity our freedom permits by recognizing annually a "National Day of Prayer."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim May 2, 2002, as a National Day of Prayer. I ask Americans to pray for God's protection, to express gratitude for our blessings, and to seek moral and spiritual renewal. I urge all our citizens to join in observing this day with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand
twenty-sixth day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-sixth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
History of the National Day of Prayer
Because of the faith of many of our founding fathers, public prayer and national days of prayer have a long-standing and significant history in American tradition. The Supreme Court affirmed the right of state legislatures to open their sessions with prayer in Marsh vs. Chambers (1983).
The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln's proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting, and prayer" in 1863. 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.
The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation. 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 to 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. Last 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 more than 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.
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans. It is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman, reminds us: "We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day or Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too."
1775 - The first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer.
1863 - Abraham Lincoln called for such a day.
1952 - Congress established NDP as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Truman.
1988 - The law was amended and signed by President Reagan, designating the NDP as the first Thursday in May.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force exists to encourage and promote events related to the National Day of Prayer, the first Thursday in May. Every effort is made to provide resources for any religious or community group which wishes to participate in or plan events related to our nation's day of prayer. The NDP Task Force will accomplish this goal by:
Recruiting state, regional and city Coordinators
and other volunteers to plan and facilitate local events.
Providing materials and ideas in support of the Coordinators and other interested citizens promoting the event.
Coordinating a national media campaign leading up to the day. Planning and leading events in Washington, D.C. on the first Thursday in May.
Carrying out other activities which focus the attention of every citizen on the need for intercessory prayer for our nation and its leaders.
To communicate with every family the need for personal repentance and prayer, and to mobilize families to personal and corporate prayer, particularly on behalf of the nation and those in leadership on all levels of local, national, church and educational areas of influence.
What to Pray for?
THROUGH THIS PRAYER GUIDE , you will have an opportunity to petition God on behalf of our leaders and those who are in authority over us, as we are instructed to do in 1 Timothy 2:1-2. As you humbly come before the Lord and seek His face, please pray that these men and women will be granted divine wisdom, guidance, and strength to fulfill their important roles. Pray for Federal Leaders President: George W. Bush Vice President: Dick Cheney Secretary of State: Colin Powell Secretary of Defense: Donald Rumsfeld Secretary of the Treasury: Paul O'Neill Attorney General: John Ashcroft Secretary of the Interior: Gale Norton Secretary of Agriculture: Ann Veneman Secretary of Commerce: Don Evans Secretary of Labor: Elaine Chao Secretary of Transportation: Norman Mineta Secretary of Energy: Spencer Abraham Secretary of Education: Rod Paige Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Anthony Principi Secretary of Health & Human Services: Tommy Thompson Secretary of Housing & Urban Development: Mel Martinez Secretary of Homeland Security: Tom Ridge All Branches of the Armed Forces U.S. Supreme Court Pray for State Leaders U.S. Senator U.S. Senator U.S. Representative Governor Lt. Governor State Senator State Representative State Supreme Court Justices Pray for Local Leaders County Officials Court Officials City Officials Judges Mayor Police Department Fire Department School Authorities (public & private) Why Pray? We need to pray because the Bible commands us to (Matthew 6:5; Romans 12:12; 1 Thess 5:17). Prayer is how we communicate with God and participate in His works. It grants us the privilege of experiencing God, keeps us humble before Him, strengthens the bonds between believers and can succeed where other means have failed. Why Pray For Our Nation? God answers the prayers of His people, and in 2 Chronicles 7:14, He specifically emphasizes the importance of praying for our nation. Ask the Lord to bring about spiritual renewal across America. Pray that people will turn to Him and seek His will for our land. Why Pray For Our Leaders? The Bible instructs us to pray for "all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness" (1 Timothy 2:2). Pray that our leaders will seek God and endeavor to serve Him in a manner that is worthy of their positions of influence. Why Pray For Our Communities? Intercessory prayer has the power to change the place where you live. It is time that we took back our communities for the sake of God's Kingdom and covered them with our humble petitions. Pray for your own city or town, asking God to bless your efforts to reclaim your neighborhood in His name. Why Pray For Our Families? God designed the family to be a place of love, support, spiritual growth, and, of course, prayer. Now is the time to pray for this holy institution, which is currently under attack in our country. Ask the Lord to bring peace, guidance and healing to families that are struggling every day. Why Pray For Our Youth? The youth of today will grow up to lead Twenty-first-century America. Each day conflicting moral standards, violence, and the latest media scandals bombard them. In the midst of this turmoil, God is raising up an army of young people. Ask the Lord to make them bold and steadfast in their faith. What Else Can We Pray About? Churches and Ministry Organizations Courage and Strength Ask God to help them: Stand strong in their convictions Be bold in their witness Meet America's spiritual needs Be a place of hope and healing The Imprisoned and Persecuted Protection and Unity Ask God to help them: Endure their hardships Find joy in the midst of trials Encourage one another Find comfort in their faith Mass Media, Cultural and Social Services Wisdom and Knowledge Ask God to help them: Reflect godly values in their work Be accurate and fair in their presentations Place a high value on truth and decency Be responsible with their influence The Family Blessing and Prosperity Ask God to help families: Commit to the permanence of marriage Serve one another in love Be dedicated to each other Restore broken relationships Personal Renewal and Moral Awakening Reverence and Humility Ask God to help us: Confess our sins Seek His direction Rely on Him instead of ourselves Contact your local library, or call your state capitol building for specific names. For the latest information click on the links below: <http://capwiz.com/rollcall/home/> <http://www.whitehouse.gov/government/cabinet.html> To speak with someone about the National Day of Prayer Task Force call: 1-800-444-8828
Chairman of the Board, Compassion in Action
White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy
December 6-7, 2001
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