LANSING – The 60th official observation of the National Day of Prayer will be recognized Thursday by the Michigan Senate. Sen. Judy Emmons has sponsored a resolution proclaiming May 5, 2011 as National Day of Prayer in honor of the importance prayer has had throughout American history.
“Americans and our leaders have relied on prayer for guidance and reflection for more than 200 years,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “We are honoring the inspirational role prayer has played in the greatness of our country and our state. We give thanks for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, including the freedom to gather and pray. These core beliefs are the foundation of America and continue to give us strength in difficult times.”
Senate Resolution 51 notes that a National Day of Prayer has been part of America’s heritage since it was declared by the First Continental Congress in 1775. It also states that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed our nation should set apart a day for national prayer to confess our sins and transgressions in sorrow.
“We give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy, that the state of Michigan and its people will be blessed and protected from those who threaten our republic and the foundation of our heritage,” Emmons said. “Most importantly, we pray for the men and women of our armed forces for their sacrifice and for our first responders for their dedication. May God watch over them and protect them.”
The annual observation became official in 1952 when President Harry Truman signed a law calling on the chief executive to issue each year a proclamation designating a “National Day of Prayer.” This was later amended to be the first Thursday in May. This year’s theme, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” is based on a verse from Psalm 91:2, which states: “I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”