National Day of Prayer Celebrates 60 Years

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Joon
Today's 60th observance of the National Day of Prayer will include many of the same elements of year's past: asking for forgiveness, praying for wisdom for leaders. This year, you can expect some participants to include recent events, like the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

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(EndPlay Staff Reports) - Today's 60th observance of the National Day of Prayer will include many of the same elements of year's past: asking for forgiveness, praying for wisdom for leaders.

This year, you can expect some participants to include recent events, like the death of terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden.

"Bin Laden being destroyed gives a lot of people hope," the Rev. Peter Mathewson, a Presbyterian minister in California, told the Coshocton Tribune . "Hope is what we need; prayer is what we give.

"We pray for firemen and women, police, and especially, we will remember the families of those who gave their all at 9/11," Mathewson said.

The annual National Day of Prayer is observed on the first Thursday of May. The event invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation.

The observance was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman, according to the event website, NationalDayofPrayer.org

Today the National Day of Prayer takes place at public locations throughout the United States. This year's theme is "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," and is based on Psalm 91:2: "I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust."

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation last week, recognizing the important role that prayer has played in the United States.

"Throughout our history, Americans have turned to prayer for strength, inspiration, and solidarity. Prayer has played an important role in the American story and in shaping our Nation's leaders," Obama said in the proclamation .

Organizers of the National Day of Prayer said this year's observance is especially significant because a recent court ruling by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed the constitutionality of the law requiring the president to proclaim a National Day of Prayer each year.

The Freedom From Religion Foundation had challenged the 1952 congressional act declaring the annual observance, according to event organizers.

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