‘National Day of Prayer’ observed in Georgia Thursday

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com

The 2023 theme is “Pray fervently in righteousness and avail much!”

On Thursday, many Georgians will observe the National Day of Prayer, in which people are asked to stop and pray for the nation.

Mark Mirza, the state coordinator for the National Day of Prayer Task Force said participants are asked to pray for elected officials, families and in several areas including education.

He described the task force as evangelical and “fiercely non-partisan.”

The Rev. Darryl L. Winston, senior pastor of Greaterworks Ministries in Atlanta will be among a dozen faith leaders who will hold a virtual prayer service on Thursday that can be viewed on YouTube and the ministry’s Facebook page.

The virtual prayer service begins at 6 a.m. and ends at 1 p.m.

Winston said he plans to pray for the military and the “healing of the land and the nation” politically, socially, spiritually and over the “great divide” engulfing the nation.

“For us as a people, our spiritual tradition is that prayer for us is a valuable resource,” he said.

While he spoke about the benefits of prayer, Winston also said there’s much work to do when the day is over.

“There were calls for national days of prayers going back to the founding of the republic,” said Robert M. Franklin Jr., the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor in Moral Leadership at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

In 1952, the modern-day National Day of Prayer was established by a resolution of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by then President Harry S. Truman.

It was amended in the late 1980s designating the first Thursday in May for the annual observance.

Franklin called the National Day of Prayer “well intentioned,” but perhaps not as inclusive as it should be at a time when the nation is deeply divided.”

The 2023 theme is “Pray fervently in righteousness and avail much!”

Where can I find an event near me?

You can go to the state National Day of Prayer website at https://markmirza.com/ndp-georgia-2/.

In general, how often do people pray?

According to a 2014 Pew Research Center survey, 55 % of U.S. adults pray at least daily; 16% pray weekly; 6% pray monthly; and 23 % pray seldom or never.