Many of us remember starting each morning at school with the familiar Pledge of Allegiance. Few realize that it was June 1954 before Congress added the words "under God" to the pledge. President Dwight D. Eisenhower supported the legislation by stating, "In this way we are reaffirming the transcendence of religious faith in America's heritage and future; in this way we shall constantly strengthen those spiritual weapons which forever will be our country's most powerful resource in peace and war." Throughout history, Americans have publicly acknowledged God's sovereignty and have openly attributed the blessings of freedom and prosperity that we enjoy to the providence of the Almighty.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Day of Prayer. By Public Law 200-307, we are encouraged to set aside the first Thursday in May of each year as a day on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals. The theme this year is "One Nation Under God," taken from Psalm 33:12, "Blessed is the nation whose God is Lord."
The second verse of 1 Timothy 2 states we should intercede for "everyone - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness." This passage is not a matter of interpretation, only a matter of obedience. It is what God asks of us. What more reason do we need than that?
Just as we are admonished by physicians referring to our cardiovascular health, "use it or lose it," so we need to be vigilant and faithful in our observance of this call to prayer for our nation.
Bill Graham, honorary chairman of the National Day of Prayer, has said, "There is but one power available to redeem the course of events, and that is the power of prayer by God-fearing men and women. Our nation's most powerful spiritual defense can be prayer."
A program will be held at the Alaska state capitol during the noon hour, Thursday, May 3. To aid with parking downtown, Gray Line of Alaska has provided a park-and-ride shuttle bus from the Mendenhall Mall. Plan to board by 11:30 a.m. and you will be back by 1:30 p.m.
State Coordinator for National Day of Prayer