Today is the National Day of Prayer. It has been around longer than we’ve been a country.
It’s celebrated on the first Thursday of May every year by Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jews, and Sikhs. Thousands of Americans gather in front of places of worship, courthouses and other public areas.
The annual observance began with the Continental Congress in 1775, but it wasn’t until 1952 when President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming it the “National Day of Prayer”, allowing each successive president to select the day of observance each year. The law was amended in 1988 to lock in the annual date as the 1st Thursday of May.
An attempt was made in 2008 by a group called Freedom From Religion Foundation to kill the National Day of Prayer. They filed a lawsuit deeming it unconstitutional. in 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled it unconstitutional, but the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned her ruling.
Every year, the current president issues a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer. You can read President Obama’s proclamation HERE.