The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress. In 1988 the law was amended to designate the first Thursday in May as an annual day of national prayer. United prayer helps bring people together and builds bridges among various factions. Its ultimate purpose is to recognize God and bring our petitions to Him for help. Approaching God requires humility and repentance. In writing to Timothy, Paul, in 1 Timothy Chapter 2, urges him to “pray for all people. Ask God to help them, intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.” The reason Paul gives for this inclusive prayer is so people can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.” The apostle goes on to say prayer like this pleases God our Savior who wants everyone to be saved and understand the truth. He explains how Jesus Christ gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone, “a message,” he says “God gave to the world at just the right time.” Yet effective prayer is more than bringing platitudes. God said through the prophet Amos, “I want to see a mighty flood of justice and an endless river of righteous living.” Without this, a day of prayer has limited value.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.
Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More