MADISON – Hundreds will march and gather at the Boone County Courthouse on Thursday, May 1st, in observance of the 63rd National Day of Prayer.
The hour-long ceremony will open with praise and worship singing by local artists, followed by a variety of guest speakers.
Organizers said the annual event, which takes place on the first Thursday of each May, gives the local community and churches the opportunity to pray for members of the military, government officials, their families, schools, businesses, the media and the nation as a whole.
Pastors and other church leaders, organize the hour-long ceremony at the courthouse. It begins with a parade and proclamation read by the County Commission President Eddie Hendricks.
On April 17, 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill proclaiming the National Day of Prayer into law. Then, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law decreeing that the National Day of Prayer should be held on the first Thursday of May.
The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer will have profound significance for our country, according organizers.
“It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne,” said national organizer Anne Graham Lotz, the 2014 Honorary Chairman. “Our theme for 2014 is One Voice, United in Prayer, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen Romans 15:6 as our Scripture for this year: ‘So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’”
Nationally, prayers will be simultaneously read throughout the nation at noon (EDT).
“This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us,” Lotz said. “Millions of people will gather to pray at thousands of events facilitated by our volunteer coordinators and people just like you. We hope you’ll join with our staff again as we seek to bring more communities than ever before together in prayer.”
At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more important than pray, Lotz added.
“Don’t make this a one-time event. Pray for the nation every day. The church can turn this country around,” she said. “Prayer is so powerful and the National Day of Prayer is important.”
The hour-long ceremony will end with a prayer chain around the courthouse, where participants join hands for a closing prayer.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin normally attends the annual Gubernatorial Prayer Breakfast and discusses the importance of prayer as he proclaims the day to be “A Day of Prayer” in the Mountain State.
“There are many reasons we pray. We pray for guidance in our personal lives or for blessings to be upon those who are ill,” Tomblin said. “Regardless of form, prayer is powerful. It can change our lives and bring us joy. Prayer can strengthen marriages and bring families closer together. Strong families begin with strong marriages and I’m proud Joanne and I have enjoyed both for so many years.”
The Family Policy Council of West Virginia hosted the first Gubernatorial Prayer Breakfast in the state in 2012. The event was held to bring West Virginians together on the National Day of Prayer to pray for the state’s leaders, families and religious freedoms.
During that event, Gov. Tomblin highlighted the significance of then-House Bill 4605, known as The Pre-marital Education Act, which was passed during the 2012 Legislative Session. The Pre-marital Education Act provides an incentive for couples to complete premarital education, before receiving a marriage license.