2018-05-11 / Chaplain's News

Why is there a National Day of Prayer?

CHAPLAIN’S CORNER
CHAPLAIN (MAJ.) TRACY HUDGINS
706th Military Intelligence Group

Throughout our nation’s history, Americans have prayed and come together before God to offer him thanks, seek his aid, reflect on his will and respond to his grace.

In 1789, George Washington proclaimed: “It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits and to humbly implore his protection and favor.”

For many religions, prayer is an important expression of faith – an essential act of worship and a daily discipline that allows reflection provides guidance and offers solace.

The National Day of Prayer recently observed here at Fort Gordon, was created by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman on April 17, 1952.

President Ronald Reagan, amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as the National Day of Prayer.

As illustrated in the following prayer, the purpose of the National Day of Prayer is to encourage prayer for the Nation from a board spectrum of religions and religious leaders.

“Eternal God, may we strive to serve you, our country, and our communities with added conviction. We are grateful for our national heritage, the devotion and valor of our patriots, the wide distribution of immense opportunities, and the freedom of religious expression.

“May we remember that our freedoms and liberties are purchased and preserved at a high cost and should be approached reverently and responsibly.

“It is in this spirit that we join together in peace with those whose faith possesses both similarities and differences. However, all of our faith contexts exist within an age of prolific communication where humanity’s longing to connect, to be known, to gather information and be affirmed is overtly evident in this globally and continually connected environment.

“Even with the greatest technological advances, there is still a device that has unlimited minutes, it works under the deepest sea or at the highest altitude, it has even been proven to work in outer space, it is faster than any broadband or LTE network; it gives guidance without a map; and it is so light that we don’t even notice we are carrying it; it can process more information than the fastest computer servers, and it never drops coms.

“This is the fantastic device of prayer. Help us to understand that prayer is not solely about getting our will done in heaven but being equipped to do your will here on earth.

“Let us all approach prayer, not as a duty to be performed, but rather a privilege to be enjoyed.

“Thank you for Prayer, a powerful communication device able to penetrate the heavens unto your attentive ear uniting people from all economic, political, and ethnic backgrounds, encouraging personal repentance and righteousness.

“Thank you for the blessings and freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and we ask for your protection upon those who defend it. Amen.” (by an anonymous Army Chaplain)

Prayers, like this one and the many religious services provided or performed by the Chaplains here at Fort Gordon, are enjoyed because of the first amendment of the United States Constitution which provides for the free exercise of religion.

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