Thursday, May 4th, 2017
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FAQs

When is the National Day of Prayer?
The National Day of Prayer will take place on Thursday, May 4, 2017.

Did President Obama issue a proclamation in 2016?
Yes, click here to view.

Did President Obama cancel the National Day of Prayer?

Contrary to popular belief, President Obama did NOT cancel the National Day of Prayer. In fact, last year, 2 representatives from his cabinet attended the national observance on Capitol Hill.

President Ronald Reagan held observances in the Rose Garden. President George H. Bush was a guest speaker for several National Day of Prayer events. President Bill Clinton invited guests, including Shirley Dobson, for prayer times at the White House during the National Day of Prayer. President George W. Bush held events regularly for the National Day of Prayer at the White House. However, President Barack Obama has chosen not to personally participate nor host events for the National Day of Prayer at the White House, which seems to be the origin of this widely circulated email. Although he has not participated as his predecessors did, he has written a proclamation for the day of prayer every year of his presidency, which are available on our website, www.nationaldayofprayer.org . In fact, every President since 1952 has written proclamations calling for a National Day of Prayer.

Will the National Observance be available to view LIVE?
Yes, click here to view.

What is the theme and verse this year?
The 2017 Theme is For Your Great Name's Sake! which is based on Daniel 9:19: "O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your sake, O my God..."

Can I post an event for the National Day of Prayer?
Yes, click here to post an event.

Is there a National Prayer this year?
Yes, the National Prayer by our Chairman, Anne Graham Lotz is available here.

Will there be Downloads available?
Yes, click here for downloads.

Will there be Spanish resources available?
Yes, click here for Spanish downloads.

Is there a Promotional Video this year?
The 2017 Promotional Video is available as a FREE download. Click here for our video options.

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.

Does the National Day of Prayer Task Force plan the National Prayer Breakfast?
No. The National Prayer Breakfast is an annual event (originally called the Presidential Prayer Breakfast) that began in 1953 (one year after the National Day of Prayer) and takes place on the first Thursday of February. The National Day of Prayer takes place on the first Thursday of May. The National Prayer Breakfast is coordinated by The Fellowship Foundation and is predominately an interfaith prayer gathering.

What is the National Day of Prayer Task Force and what is its purpose?
The National Day of Prayer 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 annually on the first Thursday of May.

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 NDP 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 NDP.

Is the National Day of Prayer exclusively a Christian event?
No. This government-proclaimed day is offered to all Americans to 'turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.' However, the efforts of the NDP Task Force are executed specifically in accordance with its Judeo-Christian beliefs.

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.

Who is behind the National Day of Prayer Task Force?
The Chairman is Mrs. Anne Graham Lotz, who has held the position since 2016. Mrs. Lotz 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. Rev. John Bornschein serves as the Vice Chairman and Executive Director. Prior to Mrs. Lotz's involvement, the Task Force was led by Mrs. Shirley Dobson (1991-2016), wife of Focus on the Family and Family Talk founder, Dr. James Dobson, and the late Mrs. Vonette Bright (1983-1991), wife of the late Bill Bright, founder and president of Campus Crusade for Christ.

Is the Task Force affiliated with Focus on the Family or Family Talk?
No. Though Mrs. Shirley Dobson (Chairman Emeritus) is married to Focus on the Family and Family Talk founder Dr. James Dobson, the NDP Task Force is a separate organization. It was housed at the Focus on the Family headquarters from 1991 to 2009 and is currently located at an independent office in Colorado Springs, CO. Its business affairs have always remained separate and Focus on the Family was compensated for services rendered. However, between 1991 and 1993, Focus on the Family did provide grants in support of the NDP Task Force. Since then, the Task Force has been completely self-supported.

What kinds of events are planned?
The most visible 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 interest (i.e. education, youth, families, etc.). Every year, tens of thousands of events are held nationwide. Local volunteers hold a variety of activities ranging from prayer breakfasts, Bible reading marathons, concerts of prayer, rallies, church prayer vigils, student flagpole gatherings and observances held in sports stadiums.


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