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May 09th, 2021

ndp logoROBERT PIERCE • Leader & Times

 

In February 1952, the Rev. Billy Graham stood on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and called for Congress and the president to establish a day of prayer.

By April of that year, President Harry Truman signed the legislation making the first Thursday in May a National Day of Prayer by public law.

Through seven decades, the efforts of the National Day of Prayer have mobilized to observe NDP in all 50 states in all 50 states and in U.S. territories to praise God and to intercede for the nation.

NDP is an annual observance when people are asked “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.” The president is required by law to sign a proclamation each year, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day.

For 70 years, there has been a public witness on the National Day of Prayer at the U.S. Capitol until this year when peaceful First Amendment activities continue to be prohibited on the grounds of the Capitol.

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The Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, was denied a permit to have a prayer service at the Capitol on the NDP.

However, citizens of Liberal and surrounding communities, the state of Kansas and the nation will observe NDP with a public event at noon Thursday at the Light Park pavilion in Liberal, sponsored by the Liberal Ministerial Alliance.

Local NDP coordinator Cindy Hall said this will be a live event, unlike last year’s event, which was virtual.

“The public is welcome and encouraged to attend,” she said. “This is an outdoor event, so social distancing can be practiced and other precautions taken to keep everyone safe.”

As for the 2020 NDP event, which ran virtually due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Hall said virtual means were a bit out of her comfort zone, and she initially did not think she would like doing it that way. After hearing from some of those who saw the livestream, though, Hall had more positive thoughts about it.,

“When I was delivering promotional flyers for this year, in talking to some of the people who actually viewed it, I think we had a greater coverage by doing it virtual because it got out over the whole community and a lot of other areas,” she said. “That was a plus.”

Hall said though many believed COVID would negatively impactly last year’s National Day of Prayer, it actually did so positively.

“There’s several who said they were able to watch it who wouldn’t been able to attend it in person anyway because of a work schedule or a school schedule,” she said. “They thought it was awesome.”

Hall said she believes everyone is ready to once again have an in-person NDP.

“I think everybody is ready to get back together, to be able to be together in groups and have relationships and socialize,” she said. “They’ve had enough of the social distancing.”

This year’s theme is “Lord, pour out your LOVE, LIFE and LIBERTY.” The scripture verse for this year’s theme is 2 Corinthians 3:17: “Now, the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

“Love, God’s love for us, our love for God and others, life, all life from then unborn to the aged, and liberty, spiritual freedom and First Amendment rights, are the areas or the ‘issues’ in society throughout our nation at this time that appear we most need God’s intervention – through His Spirit poured on us – as a nation, families, individuals, organizations and government,” Hall said.

II Chronicles 7:14 says “If My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from Heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“As we gather this year in Liberal, we are obeying scripture and believing God to be true to His Word to pour out His love, life and liberty,” Hall said. “We trust we will receive forgiveness and healing our land.”

At the Liberal National Day of Prayer event, there will be individuals leading prayers for what are referred to as the Seven Centers of Influence in Society or Seven Mountains of Culture – family, church/religion, workplace/business, education, military and arts, media and entertainment.

Hall said she has been intentional and adding two prayer targets which she felt needed special emphasis and agreement in prayer this year.

“I pulled out of the seven realms of influence  a particular emphasis on life, specifically the unborn through the aged,” she said. “That comes out of the family topic. The other one is health care. There’s still a lot of recovery in the community from COVID and other things, first responders, health care workers, appreciation for all they do and praying for them. That’s a little different this year from other years and not specified by the National Day of Prayer Task Force.”

The individuals who will be presenting in the event or leading in the prayer points are from every segment of local culture and are in positions of influence within those segments.

“We will have representation from our local government, law enforcement, first responders, military and the diversity of culture within our city,” Hall said. 

With COVID-19 still on the minds of many, as well as some of the events of the past year, Hall said prayer has become more of a need now than it has ever been.

“It’s not over,” she said. “People are still recovering. People are still suffering from the effects of that, and it’s affected everything. It’s affected our economy. It’s affected physical health, mental health.”

Thursday’s event will also stream on the Liberal Ministerial Alliance and Leader&Times Facebook pages, as well as other media outlets. There will be replay available too as many are in the workplace and unable to view or attend the live event.

“Celebrate the 70th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer,” Hall said. “Join us live and in person. Join us by livestream if not in person and encounter the love, life and liberty of God. Let it be demonstrated in public.”

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