MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, SC -- Fightertown residents took part in a time-honored tradition when they gathered in the Air Station Chapel to observe the National Day of Prayer May 5.
The chapel event included the readings of the NDP Presidential Proclamation, official 2005 prayer by Max Lucado (the official spokesperson of the NDP), Old and New Testament and a short period of personal reflection, according to Lt. Dwayne Jackson, Marine Aircraft Group-31 staff chaplain.
The entire nation is invited to participate in the National Day of Prayer, and there are several reasons why the Fightertown community should participate, according to Jackson.
“First, as citizens of the greatest country on earth, I feel we have been afforded a wonderful opportunity to come together and pray for our nation,” Jackson said. “Secondly, as a result of the freedoms and privileges a free society provides us, it is only natural that we take time out of our busy schedules to pause and thank the Creator God for all of our blessings.
“Lastly, like many who have gone before us during times of war, the (Marine Corps Air Station) family knows firsthand the pain and anguish of having loved ones serving in harms way around the world.”
The NDP has a tradition that reaches back 230 years when the first Continental Congress called for the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a new nation. The call to prayer continued throughout history until the National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
President Ronald Reagan amended the law in 1988, when he designated the first Thursday of May as the NDP. “Let us, young and old, join together, as did the First Continental Congress, in the first step-humble, heartfelt prayer. Let us do so for the love of God and His great goodness, in search of His guidance, and the grace of repentance, in seeking His blessings, His peace, and the resting of His kind and holy hands on ourselves, our Nation, our friends in the defense of freedom, and all mankind, now and always,” Reagan said in his 1988 National Day of Prayer Proclamation.
The observance of the NDP is founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans, according to Jackson. Each year the president signs a proclamation, which encourages all Americans, regardless of their faith, to pray on this Day. More than 40,000 observances took place across the nation in 2004, according to the National Day of Prayer website.
The largest gathering takes place in Washington. The executive, legislative and judicial branches of government and the military are represented, and Christian leaders address the current year’s theme. This year’s NDP theme was, “God shed His grace on thee.” The supporting verse for 2005 is, “Let us then approach the throne with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
In addition to the NDP theme, there was a message Jackson wanted the MCAS community to know.
“The main message from the program that I would hope is being conveyed to the community is that we sincerely care about our nation and the track that we are presently on as a nation.”
To read the presidential proclamation or the 2005 prayer or for more information about the National Day of Prayer go to www.nationaldayofprayer.org