God, Bless America - Please
National Day of Prayer binds Clinton together in calls to bless schools, government, country
The son of a former Clinton city manager, Dale Gilbert asked Thursday for God’s blessings on the nation and its local communities.
Gilbert is meteorologist for WYFF-TV and was the guest speaker for Clinton’s National Day of Prayer observance. Mayor Bob McLean provided the welcome, and two local ministers - Rev. Jim Roberts, Westminster Presbyterian Church, and Rev. Kenneth Murray, Mt. Moriah Baptist Church - provided prayers.
Those attending the noon observance circled and joined hands for the prayers. “God is real,” Gilbert said. “If you trust and belief in Jesus, it will change your life.”
This year’s prayer theme was unity, with the common scripture, Ephesians 4:3, “Diligently keeping the unity of the Spirit with the peace that binds us.” (HCSB).
Gilbert said, “It is our privilege to pray for our leaders. They need the support of the people.”
Roberts prayed for the schools, leaders, teachers, students and Presbyterian College. Of the students, he said, “May we come alongside them in practical and meaningful ways.”
Roberts also offered prayers for businesses and the local government.
Murray prayed, “The American government seeks direction from You. Heal the land, and forgive us. We can’t do this thing ourselves. The Bible says if we call on You, You will answer.”
Murray also offered a prayer of protection for America’s men and women serving in the armed forces. He said, “Have your way, Lord.”
The National Day of Prayer website says it is “an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Our Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.”
There have been 146 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789 – 2017).
There have been 69 Presidential Proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952 – 2017). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989 – 91), Barack H. Obama (2012), and Donald J. Trump (2017) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation; 35 of the 45 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two Presidents, not included in the count — William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding - signed proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
Records indicate there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.
“Now I urge you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree in what you say, and that there is no divisions among you, and that you be united with the same understanding and the same conviction.” 1 Corinthians 1:10 HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible)