Our nation needs prayer; join us Thursday

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007

The Natchez Ministerial Alliance invites the Miss-Lou community to join us at Memorial Park, next to St. Mary Basilica, in downtown Natchez at noon Thursday for the National Day of Prayer.

This is an annual event for Americans of all faiths to take time to pray for our nation and its leaders.

Services will begin at noon and will continue until 6:30 p.m. Every half hour a different pastor and church will present a program and lead the audience in prayer.

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As our nation looks to the future, the need for prayer is great. Turmoil in the Middle East, conflict over domestic issues and continued fear over national security point the nation to the need for prayer — and for our president, our other leaders and our armed forces.

National days of prayer have been called as early as 1775, when the First Continental Congress called for a day of prayer for the nation.

Abraham Lincoln also called for such a day in 1863. The National Day of Prayer formally was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1952 and was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

The law was amended in 1988 and signed by President Ronald Reagan to be the first Thursday of every year.

In 1952, when President Truman signed the resolution, establishing a National Day of Prayer, he encouraged the country to “beseech God to grant us wisdom to know the course which we should follow and the strength and patience to steadfastly pursue that course.”

President Reagan in his 1988 National Day of Prayer Proclamation encouraged the nation with this prayer:

“Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step — humble, heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance, and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, His peace, and resting of His kind and holy hands on ourselves, our nation, our friends in the defense of freedom and all mankind, now and always.

The Natchez Ministerial Alliance asks that you join us in prayer for our city, state and nation.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” (Psalm 32:12)

Jerry Nickerson is a member of the Natchez Ministerial Alliance.