Every year on the first Thursday in May, the nation observes the National Day of Prayer. The United States Congress declared this day to be observed, and it encourages people to “turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

Many people include prayer in their everyday routines. Our spiritual lives are richly connected via prayer, which also strengthens our bonds with others and our beliefs. In times of need or distress, it also offers comfort.


On this day, people of many different religions gather to worship. Some people choose to worship in their preferred church, synagogue, mosque, temple, or monastery, while others go to interdenominational prayer gatherings. Some people will start meditation or prayer groups. Post on social media using the hashtag #NationalDayOfPrayer.


An evangelical movement demanded that Congress and the President declare a National Day of Prayer at the start of the 1950s. On February 3, 1952, Evangelist Billy Graham, a youthful leader of the organisation, presided over services attended by over 20,000 people on the Capitol steps. Later that year, a joint resolution establishing a National Day of Prayer was announced by Congress. A National Day of Prayer was declared by President Harry S. Truman on July 4, 1952. Since that time, Americans have celebrated the day in many ways. President Ronald Reagan had the holiday relocated to the first Thursday in May, and it has been observed every year since.

Since before the country’s founding, presidents and other elected leaders have sometimes called for national days of prayer or thanksgiving.

The Continental Congress recommended that “a day of public humiliation, fasting, and prayer” be commemorated in a proclamation on July 20, 1775.

George Washington declared a day of public prayer and gratitude in 1795.

John Adams proclaimed May 9, 1798, to be “a day of profound humility, fasting, and prayer.”

March 1863 – On March 3, 1863, during the American Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed a Congressional resolution designating April 30, 1863, as a day of fasting and prayer.


There haven’t been many national days of prayer throughout history. In actuality, there weren’t many notable ones during the 1700s and 1900s. The United States Congress and President Harry S. Truman jointly launched the National Day of Prayer that we are familiar with in 1952.

President Truman established the holiday, and each president since then has issued a proclamation urging people to pray and observe the day. Since the country’s founding in 1952, the first Thursday in May has been observed as a national holiday. It serves as a reminder of how the country’s founding fathers handled tough choices by applying the ideals from the Bible’s precepts. Basically, seeking God’s wisdom before making critical choices for the nation and for yourself. The National Day of Prayer is now acknowledged by all Americans nationally, much like Thanksgiving and Christmas, and it is also included in all Hallmark calendars.

It should come as no surprise that this holiday was first established to honour the Christian religion given that America was founded by individuals of European ancestry who were mostly of Christian heritage. The purpose of the National Day of Prayer was to encourage Americans to “turn to God in prayer and meditation.”

The National Day of Prayer website states that everyone has to set aside some time for personal repentance and prayer as well as to rally the Christian community. National Day of Prayer is frequently observed by those outside the Christian community, despite the fact that there are no laws prohibiting the celebration of the holiday by people of different cultures, religious convictions, and worldviews. This is because America has become a multicultural country.

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