Come and pray with us Thursday

Published 12:39 am Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Natchez area Ministerial Alliance invites the Miss-Lou Community to join us at Memorial Park (next to St. Mary’s Basilica) 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 continue until 6 p.m. Every half hour a different pastor and church will present their program and lead the audience in prayer. The theme for this year is, “Prayer. America’s Strength and Shield” and is based on the scripture from Psalm 28:7 which states, “The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in him and I am helped.”

National days of prayer have been called as early as 1775 with the First Continental Congress. Abraham Lincoln also called for such a day in 1863. The National Day of Prayer as an annual event was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1952, and signed into law by President Truman. The law was amended in 1988 and signed by President Reagan to be the first Thursday of May each year.

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The National Day of Prayer belongs to Americans. It is not sponsored by or “owned” by any one group. Every American can observe this day. Since 1988, every president has issued a proclamation encouraging Americans to participate.

When President Truman signed the resolution establishing a national day of prayer, he encouraged citizens to “beseech God to grant us wisdom to know the course which we should follow, and strength and patience to pursue that course steadfastly.”

Fifty-six years have passed and President Truman’s exhortation is remembered. We ask you to bless us with your presence Thursday, to pray for our city, our state and our nation.

Dr. Jerry NICKERSON is a pastor and member of the Natchez Area Ministerial Alliance. He is the Chairman of this year’s 2008 National Day of Prayer.