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Chairman, National Day of Prayer Task Force, since 1991
Member, Board of Directors, Focus on the Family
B.A., Pasadena College
Wife of Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Focus on the Family
mother of two adult children
As American troops continue fighting for liberty in various countries, American citizens will celebrate their freedom to assemble, worship and pray. Millions will answer the call to prayer next Thursday, May 6th (which is the 53rd annual National Day of Prayer) by flocking to observances held in public venues to intercede for the nation.
Says Dobson, "Our leaders confront difficult challenges every day and our society faces a future of uncertainty. We live in the land of the free where 'we the people' can openly call upon God for wisdom, protection and blessing. In order to realize the potential outlined in the Declaration of Independence, we must continue seeking Divine counsel, asking for His intervention and direction."
The theme for this year's event is "Let Freedom Ring" and is based on Leviticus 25:10, " proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants." An estimated 40,000 coordinators and volunteers will host locally organized events that take place at courthouses, state capitols, city halls, and parks, and around school flagpoles. Many churches, firehouses, and schools will ring their bells at noon to invite their communities to unite on bended knee.
It's not too late to plan one in your community. The National Day of Prayer Web site tells how to plan an event and also the location of local ones already set up. Wherever people are at noon next Thursday, as a sign of unity, they are being asked to pray this Prayer for the Nation by Dr. Barry Black, Chaplain of the U.S. Senate:
You have been good to us beyond our deserving, making our nation a land of liberty. Help us to protect our freedoms with diligence and integrity. Lord, bless our military as it advances freedom's cause around the world. Bless also the institutions of power and influence in our society - the government, the churches, the media, the schools and the families. May each bring glory to Your name. Forgive us when we stray from right paths. We place our trust in You, O Lord, believing that Your hand will sustain America. Let no shadows obscure the pathways which we should tread. We pray in Your holy name.
If we participate in this form of corporate prayer, it will be like a wave of prayer flowing across the country.
Dobson says prayer crosses political and denomination barriers. She sees being able to pray openly in our country for our leaders as both a privilege and a directive from God. Some countries do not allow their citizens to elect leaders, much less express their beliefs according to conscience.
There will be a national event on May 6 in Washington, D.C., with Oliver
North as the 2004 Honorary Chairman and keynote speaker. The executive, legislative,
and judicial branches of our government will be represented by Education Secretary
Rodney Paige, Rep. Charles Stenholm, D-TX, and Justice Kenneth B. Bell, respectively.
The military will be represented by General Peter Pace, Vice Chairman, Joint
Chiefs of Staff.
History of the National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer was officially established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan amended the law, permanently designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. President Bush and all 50 governors have signed proclamations encouraging all Americans to pray next week on the National Day of Prayer.
The tradition of a National Day of Prayer was established prior to the founding of the United States. In 1775 the Continental Congress issued a proclamation setting aside a time for prayer in forming a new nation. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. Franklin Roosevelt declared a national day of prayer on June 6, 1944, which was D-Day. And George W. Bush proclaimed a day of prayer and remembrance after the events of Sept 11, 2001.
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.