The National Day Of Prayer: Gift Ideas And Ways To Celebrate
The National Day of Prayer is a special day that encourages people of all faiths to come together to pray for their country, leaders, and communities. This day is observed annually on the first Thursday of May in the United States. The day is intended to bring people together and to promote unity, faith, and prayer. In this article, we will explore the history of the National Day of Prayer, its significance, ways to celebrate it, and holiday gift ideas.
History of National Day of Prayer
The idea of a National Day of Prayer can be traced back to the founding of the United States. In 1775, the Continental Congress called for a day of prayer and fasting to seek God's guidance and protection in the midst of the American Revolution. Throughout the years, presidents have called for days of prayer and thanksgiving, including George Washington, John Adams, Abraham Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and more.
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill into law that established the National Day of Prayer as an annual observance. The law was amended in 1988 to set the first Thursday in May as the official date for the observance.
Significance of National Day of Prayer
The National Day of Prayer is significant because it brings people together from all walks of life and faith traditions to pray for their country/communities and to seek guidance and wisdom from a higher power. Prayer has the power to unite people and create a sense of solidarity, regardless of their beliefs or differences. The National Day of Prayer also serves as a reminder of the importance of prayer in our daily lives and the impact it can have on our communities and society.
Ways to celebrate National Day of Prayer
There are many ways to celebrate the National Day of Prayer. Here are some ideas:
Attend a prayer service: Many churches and faith communities hold special prayer services on the National Day of Prayer. These events often feature prayers, hymns, and inspirational speakers. Attending a service is a great way to connect with others and participate in a communal act of prayer.
Organize a prayer walk: A prayer walk is a great way to get outside and connect with your community while also praying for your city or town. Gather a group of friends or members of your faith community and walk through your neighborhood or downtown area, stopping at various locations to pray for the people and places around you. You can pray together as a group before and/or after the walk. Everyone can take turns speaking if they’d like or you can have just one main speaker.
Host a prayer breakfast or lunch: A prayer breakfast or lunch is a great way to bring people together for a meal and a time of prayer. You can invite members of your faith community, neighbors, or coworkers to share in a time of fellowship and prayer.
Pray with your family: The National Day of Prayer is a great opportunity to gather with your family and pray together. You can start the day with a family prayer time, or you can set aside time in the evening to pray together before bed.
Participate in a virtual prayer service: With the advent of technology, many faith communities now offer virtual prayer services. You can participate in a service from the comfort of your own home, connecting with others online and sharing in a time of prayer.
Write a prayer: If you are unable to attend a prayer service or gather with others, you can still participate in the National Day of Prayer by writing a prayer. Take some time to reflect on what you would like to pray for and write it down in a journal or on a piece of paper. You can also share your prayer on social media or with friends and family.
Volunteer at a local charity or nonprofit: Another way to celebrate the National Day of Prayer is to volunteer at a local charity or nonprofit organization. You can quietly pray for others while serving them or offer to pray with individuals, if you feel comfortable. This is a great way to make a positive impact in your community.
Praying individually: Even if you can't attend an event or gather a group, you can still take a few moments of your time to pray for your country and its leaders.
Fasting: Some people choose to fast on the National Day of Prayer as a way to show their devotion and commitment to their faith.
Reading spiritual texts: Take time to read and reflect on spiritual texts that are meaningful to you.
Gift Ideas to Spread the Importance of Prayer
Always Pray Sign - This 12” x 8” hanging sign reminds the viewer of God’s gracious love and invites them to pray. This is the perfect sign to hang up in your home or gift to someone as a reminder of the importance of prayer. This sign comes with a ribbon for easy hanging and is available in both black and white colors.
Pray More, Worry Less Wooden Plaque/Shelf Decoration - This 6” x 6” sign encourages the viewer to give some of that stress to a higher power and trust. With its flat base, this MDF board can rest on any flat surface. It looks great as a table centerpiece or hanging on the wall. It comes in black and white designs.
Personalized “I Have Prayed For This Child” Cross - This is a wooden cross that can be laser-engraved with your child’s name and his/her date of birth or baptism/dedication/christening date. The poem engraved on this hardwood veneer cross says, “I have prayed and the Lord has granted the desires of my heart. Samuel 1:27.” This is a sweet reminder of the importance of asking God for what you want. If you don’t ask, you won’t receive. This reminds the child to pray to God often and reverently. This customizable cross comes in maple, cherry, and ivory colors.
Double Picture Frame - If you like the verse above, but are looking for a picture frame, then look no further. This 8” x 16” frame can hold two photos and comes in ivory, black, or maple colors.
LifeSong Milestones, also offers customizable single picture frames like the one below.
Adorable Chest/Toy Box - This handcrafted chest has many different verse options available. As with most of Lifesong Milestones’ products, the verse can be customized so your loved one will have a one-of-a-kind item. This room organizer is made of engineered wood with two safety support hinges. It’s easy to clean with a damp cloth.
Marriage Prayer Acrylic and Wood Plaque - This 8” x 12” plaque is the perfect gift for a married couple. It states, “Dear Lord, help us to remember when we first met and the strong love that grew between us. To work that love into practical things so nothing can divide us. We ask for words both kind and loving and hearts always ready to ask for forgiveness as well as forgive. Dear Lord we put our marriage into your hands.”
Customizable Wedding Candle Holder - This says the same verse that the plaque above has, but it holds a beautiful candle. This 8” wooden candle holder will help spark the desire to pray and ask for God’s help in all things.
Conclusion Remember, the National Day of Prayer is a time to come together with others and seek guidance and wisdom from a higher power. No matter how you choose to celebrate, the most important thing is to take time to reflect on your faith and to pray for your country and its leaders.