It’s no news that faith is a big part of American culture. It’s a diverse nation filled with people from various ethnicities with a variety of beliefs. Americans sure are no stranger to faith, and so it shouldn’t be a big surprise that they’ve decided to create a day that has a theme all about these religious diversities (May 7).
Throughout history, there have been few national days of prayer. In fact, there were only a few noteworthy ones between the 1700s – 1900s. The National Day of Prayer that we know today was founded in 1952, and it was co-founded effort between the United States Congress and President Harry S. Truman.
The holiday was signed into law by President Truman, and every president since has signed a proclamation that encourages Americans to pray on and celebrate this day. The national holiday has always been the first Thursday of May every year since it was founded in 1952. It stands as a day that continues the decision-making of the country’s founding fathers, which used the morals from biblical lessons in difficult situations. Basically, using God’s guidance to make important decisions in the country and for yourself. Just like Thanksgiving and Christmas, the National Day of Prayer has become recognized by Americans nation-wide, and it is even recognized and celebrated in all Hallmark calendars.
Knowing that America was founded by people of European-descent with predominantly Christian backgrounds, it’s no surprise that this holiday was originally created to celebrate Christian faith. National Day of Prayer was an effort to ask American citizens “to turn to God in prayer and meditation.”
According to the National Day of Prayer website, there’s a need for every individual to take time to personal repentance and prayer and to mobilize the Christian community. However, there’s no laws saying National Day of Prayer can’t be celebrated by all cultures, beliefs, and religions, and as America grew to become a multicultural nation, it is widely celebrated by more than just those in the Christian community.