What is the National Day of Prayer?
The National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The observance of the National Day of Prayer is founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans.
Does the National Day of Prayer Task Force plan the National Prayer Breakfast?
No. The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event (originally called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast) that began in 1953 (one year after the National Day of Prayer) and takes place on the first Thursday of February. The National Day of Prayer takes place on the first Thursday of May. The National Prayer Breakfast is coordinated by The Fellowship Foundation and is predominately an interfaith prayer gathering.
What is the National Day of Prayer Task Force and what is its purpose?
The National Day of Prayer Task Force concentrates on the need to pray for the well-being of America and for those in leadership on all levels of national, church and educational areas of influence. The National Day of Prayer is observed annually on the first Thursday of May.
When did the National Day of Prayer begin?
Days of prayer have been called for since 1775, when the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. Officially, the NDP was established as an annual event by an act of Congress in 1952 and was signed into law by President Truman. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the NDP.
Is the National Day of Prayer exclusively a Christian event?
No. This government-proclaimed day is offered to all Americans to 'turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.' However, the efforts of the NDP Task Force are executed specifically in accordance with its Judeo-Christian beliefs.
Is the National Day of Prayer a political event?
No. The National Day of Prayer, as designated by our government, belongs to all Americans. It is not sponsored or owned by any one group. Every American can observe the NDP in his or her own way. Each year, the President issues a proclamation in support of this significant day.
Who is behind the National Day of Prayer Task Force?
The NDP Task Force consists of a full-time staff and a network of thousands of grassroots volunteers nationwide. Dr. Ronnie Floyd serves as the President. Prior to Dr. Floyd's involvement, the Task Force was led by Mrs. Anne Graham Lotz (2016 to 2017), daughter of the late Reverend Billy Graham, Mrs. Shirley Dobson (1991-2016), wife of Focus on the Family and Family Talk founder, Dr. James Dobson, and the late Mrs. Vonette Bright (1983-1991), wife of the late Bill Bright, founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ.
Is the Task Force affiliated with Focus on the Family or Family Talk?
No. Though Mrs. Shirley Dobson (Chairman Emeritus) is married to Focus on the Family and Family Talk founder Dr. James Dobson, the NDP Task Force is a separate organization. It was housed at the Focus on the Family headquarters from 1991 to 2009 and is currently located at an independent office in Colorado Springs, CO. Its business affairs have always remained separate and Focus on the Family was compensated for services rendered. However, between 1991 and 1993, Focus on the Family did provide grants in support of the NDP Task Force. Since then, the Task Force has been completely self-supported.
What kinds of events are planned?
The most visible gathering has been held historically at our nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. on the first Thursday of May. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are represented, as well as the military. In addition, Christian leaders address the current year’s theme and other areas of interest (i.e. education, youth, families, etc.). Every year, tens of thousands of events are held nationwide. Local volunteers hold a variety of activities ranging from prayer breakfasts, Bible reading marathons, concerts of prayer, rallies, church prayer vigils, student flagpole gatherings and observances held in sports stadiums.