National Day of Prayer: Prayer and political activism

THURSDAY, MAY 1: Many communities across the United States will observe the National Day of Prayer, which is backed by a congressional designation, but the observance really is an occasion for evangelical political activism. Some communities do welcome all Americans to express their religious hopes for America on this day, but most local organizations focus on Protestant Christians—and many actively exclude members of other faiths.

The nonprofit’s national website makes this exclusively evangelical focus clear, telling participants:

The 63rd annual National Day of Prayer, May 1, 2014, will have profound significance for our country. It is an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord’s healing and renewing power made manifest as we call on citizens to humbly come before His throne. Our theme for 2014 is One Voice, United in Prayer, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. To further highlight our theme, we’ve chosen Romans 15:6 as our Scripture for this year: So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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  1. Bob Cornwall says

    Here in Troy, MI — there is an evangelically sponsored event on city property. But for nearly 10 years, there is an alternative observance that is not connected to nationalist sentiment, is interfaith and occurs in houses of worship. In fact, the Troy-area Interfaith Group — of which I am a leader — was born when the local organizers refused to let a Hindu resident offer a prayer. She was told this was a “Judeo-Christian event” and thus she was not welcome. Fortunately many in the faith community rallied to offer an alternative — and we’ve been doing that ever since!!

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