Our nation has a long history of calling its citizens together to pray for the issues facing our country. The Continental Congress designated a day of prayer in 1775 to ask for wisdom "in forming a new nation."
President John Adams declared May 9, 1798 as "a day of solemn humiliation, fasting, and prayer that our country may be protected from all the dangers which threaten it."
President Abraham Lincoln joined his voice to this national prayer when he said, "It is the duty of men as well as nations to owe their dependence upon the overruling power of God."
During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt called for our nation to unite in prayer that the long travail of war would end.
Following the war on April 17, 1952, President Harry Truman signed a joint resolution of the United States Congress proclaiming that a National Day of Prayer be declared by each following president at an appropriate date of his choice.
Since 1952 this has been an annual event in our country. President Ronald Reagan signed an amended bill in 1988 decreeing that the National Day of Prayer be held on the first Thursday of May each year. Hundreds of thousands of people around the country participate in various national, regional and local observances.
The Syracuse event, which is sponsored by the Greater Syracuse Association of Evangelicals, the Syracuse Rescue Mission and the Mars Hill Network usually draws a few hundred on site. This year, the progam will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. May 7 on the Onondaga County Courthouse steps, 421 Montgomery Street in Syracuse.
The program consists of area ministers being joined by elected officials and community leaders for a brief service of prayer for our nation.
The speaker this year is Rev. Dr. Bruce Jones, President of the Greater Syracuse Association of Evangelicals. The event will be broadcast live on WMHR, 102.9 FM. For more information, contact Rev. Bruce Jones -- 4892 Alfred Dr., Liverpool, NY 13090.