“Cultural darkness is everywhere. Hopelessness abounds. Divisiveness is touching every segment of American life,” notes Dr. Ronny Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer and Senior Pastor of Cross Church in Arkansas. That’s why he is urging everyone across our nation to gather together to pray for unity on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 3rd, 2018.
History of the National Day of Prayer
This annual event , inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation, is a vital part of our heritage, going back to 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. It was signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952 and set as the first Thursday of May in 1988 by President Reagan.
This year’s theme verse is Ephesians 4:3: “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Floyd defined unity as a state of oneness. “It is living in harmony in one accord. While we might have a disagreement over this or that, our fellowship should never be altered… We must now take the initiative and work endlessly toward unity. It is a call to action,” he emphasized.
The Clergy Coalition of Coral Springs and Parkland has been doing just that. This year they will host the 30th Annual National Day of Prayer Candlelight and Prayer Service in conjunction with the City of Coral Springs Multi-Cultural Advisory Committee at 7 p.m. at the Coral Springs Charter School Cafeteria, 3205 University Drive, Coral Springs. Participants of all faiths are invited to this family affair, where youth representatives will deliver brief prayers. (www.clergycoalition.net)
“It’s been a very authentic opportunity for the diverse communities of faith to come together with integrity according to their beliefs and rub shoulders with each other,” said Randal Cutter, co-chair of the Clergy Coalition and Senior Pastor of New Dawn Community Church. When he introduces the prayer gathering each year, Cutter said he points out that “they are there to bless our community and get to know each other. If someone disagrees, they listen respectfully, honoring them for the human beings they are.”
While prayers are often lifted for our leaders, defenders, public servants and families, this year they will certainly have special prayers for protection in the schools and for those grieving after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. “People are reliving the horror daily. This whole community is still grieving and will be for a long time, so we will take whatever opportunity we can to heal.”
Prayer events will be scheduled throughout the day. For example, the Plantation Association of Clergy will host the 38th Annual Interfaith Prayer Breakfast entitled “Voices of Change” at 9 a.m. at Deicke Auditorium, 5701 Cypress Rd., Plantation. Visit plantationchamber.org for more information.
Traditionally, most municipalities will host Pray at the Pole at noon on the National Day of Prayer. Check with your city officials to see if they are planning an event. The City of Miramar will gather at the flagpole for prayer at City Hall in the Town Center, located at 2300 Civic Center Place.
A Prayer Breakfast will also be held at the Miramar Culture Center, 2300 Civic Center Place, Miramar, from 7 – 8:30 a.m. hosted by The Bridge Church. To register or sponsor go to www.GoBridgeChurch.org or contact Stella Tokar at STokar@GoBridgeChurch.org.
In the evening, The Bridge will also host a Praise and Pray Service from 7 – 8:30 p.m. at the church located at 9300 Pembroke Road in Miramar.
In West Palm Beach, OneCryPBC will be hosting a National Day of Prayer Event from 7 – 9 p.m. at Urban Youth Impact’s Life Center, 2823 N. Australia Ave., West Palm Beach. DeMaris Medina, a OneCry prayer and revival leader who attends Bow Down Church, said, “If there is ever a critical moment in our present time when the Ekklesia of God needs to make every effort to come together and unite in corporate, concerted and concentrated prayer, the time is now… I believe as we release the sound of united prayer in the earth, the Lord would release waves of His glorious love so that the world may believe and come to know the love Jesus has for them through the love we have one for another.”
To learn more about the National Day of Prayer and to located a prayer gather near year, visit NationalDayOfPrayer.org.
For more articles by Shelly Pond, please visit goodnewsfl.org/author/shelly/