On Thursday, May 2, Americans across all 50 states will gather in churches, local businesses, the steps of city halls, schools, neighborhoods and public gathering places for a day of public prayer for the United States of America. While the National Day of Prayer has occurred since1952, 31 years ago, President Ronald Reagan signed a law designating it as always being the first Thursday of May.

This year’s National Day of Prayer theme is “Love One Another.” The theme comes from the words of Jesus in John 13:34, “Love one another. Just as I have loved you.”

“We tend to forget that Jesus didn’t say we would be known by our creeds or by our knowledge or how much we know about the Bible — He said we would be known only by our love, and love has been painfully absent in America in so many ways.” — Dr. Ronnie Floyd, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Forcepage1image1040645744

On Thursday evening, Dr. Floyd will lead the National Observance, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. ET in the National Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol. In attendance will be a few members of Congress as well as hundreds of American faith leaders. The National Observance will bring together a multiethnic, cross-denominational coalition of participants.

Among these are Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, Rev. Anthony B. Thompson and Julio Arriola, a missionary to Mexico. Rev. Thompson is the pastor of the Holy Trinity Reformed Episcopal Church of Charleston and the author of “Called to Forgive” (June 4), a book about the 2015 Charleston shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. His wife, Myra Thompson, was one of the nine people killed at the church shooting.

Also participating will be Andrew Brunson — who last year was released from prison after spending 2 years in a Turkish jail for his faith — and his wife Norine and Jay and Diane Strack. Jay is the founder of Student Leadership University, and Diane is the co-founder of the National Women’s Prayer Movement. The renowned Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers will lead worship.

In 2018, an estimated 50,000 gatherings across all 50 states were held on the National Day of Prayer. More than 1 million people from 38 countries viewed the broadcast of the National Observance. The 2018 theme, “Pray for America — Unity” went viral and trended No. 1 nationwide on Twitter throughout the day.

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