FAQs

What is the National Day of Prayer?

The National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The observance of the National Day of Prayer is founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans.

Is the National Day of Prayer a political event?

No. The National Day of Prayer, as designated by our government, belongs to all Americans. It is not sponsored or owned by any one group. Every American can observe the NDP in his or her own way. Each year, the President issues a proclamation in support of this significant day.

Is the National Day of Prayer exclusively a Christian event?

No. This government-proclaimed day is offered to all Americans, regardless of religion, to celebrate their faith through prayer. However, the efforts of the NDP Task Force are executed specifically in accordance with its Judeo-Christian beliefs.

What is the NDP Task Force and what is its purpose?

The NDP Task Force concentrates on the need to pray for the well-being of America and for those in leadership on all levels of national, church and educational areas of influence. The National Day of Prayer is observed on the first Thursday of May each year.

What is the National Day of Prayer Sunday?

On the Sunday before National Day of Prayer in May, when 40 million Christians come together to worship, the National Task Force is encouraging groups to take seven minutes to pray for the Seven Centers of Power (pray one minute each for these 7 centers of influence: government, military, media, business, education, church and family). Pray for renewal in our hearts and repentance to come to America. Why not claim this Sunday as NDP Sunday, forever, in your church! This can kick off whatever the churches and NDP coordinators want to do during the week, on up to the day of celebration and declaration on NDP Thursday.

When did the National Day of Prayer begin?

Days of prayer have been called for since 1775, when the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer in forming a new nation. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. Officially, the National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event by an act of Congress in 1952 and was signed into law by President Truman. President Reagan amended the law in 1988, designating the first Thursday of May each year as the National Day of Prayer.

Who is behind the NDP Task Force?

The Chairman is Mrs. Shirley Dobson, who has held the position since 1991. Mrs. Dobson volunteers her time and does not receive a salary. The NDP Task Force consists of a full-time staff and a network of thousands of grassroots volunteers nationwide. Prior to Mrs. Dobson’s involvement, the Task Force was led by Mrs. Vonette Bright, wife of former Campus Crusade for Christ president and founder Bill Bright.

What kinds of events are planned?

The most visible, national gathering has been held historically at our nation’s Capitol in Washington, D.C. on the first Thursday of May. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government are represented, as well as the military. In addition, Christian leaders address the current year’s theme and other areas of cultural influence (i.e. government, church, military, business, media, education, and family). During the National Day of Prayer, more than 40,000 events are  held nationwide. In Maryland, as in many other states, volunteers and coordinators held a variety of activities ranging from prayer breakfasts, Bible reading marathons, concerts of prayer, youth prayer rallies and church prayer vigils.