For the first time since its conception in 1952, there will be no formal gathering at the U.S. Capitol for the National Day of Prayer on May 6, 2021.
The U.S. Congress first called for national recognition of prayer in 1775, but it wasn't designated as a formal celebration on the first Thursday in May until 1952. This came through a joint resolution encouraging Americans to seek "personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America's leaders and its families," per the official website. Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
Rev. Patrick Mahoney was denied a permit to hold a prayer gathering in honor of this celebration, a situation with which the director of the Christian Defense Coalition is all too familiar.
After our permit was denied, for the first time in 70 years, there will be NO PUBLIC witness at the U.S. Capitol Building for the National Day Of Prayer! Brothers and sisters, free speech is in danger today in America. #ProtectFreeSpeech #ReligiousFreedom @mschlapp #USCapitol pic.twitter.com/iQlgRCa90g— Rev. Patrick Mahoney (@revmahoney) April 26, 2021
Mahoney was also denied a permit to host a public Good Friday service at the Capitol, an event that was permitted under COVID-19 restrictions in the height of the pandemic in 2020. Yet his application to host again in 2021 was denied because the area of the Capitol where the planned service was to be held was considered "restricted" following the Jan. 6 riots.
Then-President Trump thanked God for the "gift of faith" at the 2020 National Day of Prayer White House observance.
On Thursday afternoon, President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS welcomed faith leaders to the Rose Garden in honor of the National Day of Prayer!— The White House 45 Archived (@WhiteHouse45) May 10, 2020
"Throughout our history, in times of challenge, our people have always called upon the gift of faith." — President Donald J. Trump pic.twitter.com/U58FPbvTyu
Mahoney issued a statement obtained by Charisma News regarding the recent development of restrictions, calling for the "People's House" to be returned to its rightful occupants.
It is deeply troubling for the first time in 70 years, there will not be a public prayer service at the United States Capitol Building on the National Day of Prayer. Every American needs to be asking the question, "How is it possible to have public prayer prohibited at the Capitol on the National Day of Prayer?"—especially when it is a national observance designated by Congress.
The "People's House," as the U.S. Capitol Building is so rightly called, must be a place where all Americans are afforded the right to come and peacefully celebrate and express their First Amendment rights. Tragically, those rights and freedoms are being denied and prohibited.
I will continue to work to ensure the "People's House" is returned to the people and the First Amendment is once again celebrated and honored at the United States Capitol.
While the Capitol may not be the site where believers intercede for the nation's soul, other organizations are utilizing the 70-year-old celebration to encourage prayer and repentance on behalf of all Americans.
Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ is hosting an online and in-person celebration, imploring for the Lord to "Pour out Your love, life and liberty."
Thankfully the prayers of God's people are heard every day, but churches around the country still plan on petitioning on May 6.
Did you know May 6th is National Day of Prayer? With one of our core values being "Pray at All Times," we are excited to be hosting and participating in cooperate prayer events! Join us for two prayer meetings on that Thursday. We hope to see you there! pic.twitter.com/7peYWc1WVY— Grace Pointe Naperville (@GPNchurch) April 26, 2021
Join us next Thursday, May 6, for a National Day of Prayer! There will be two sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening. For details on how you can access each session, please view the attached flyer or give us a call at 972-218-1300. pic.twitter.com/5Bm5QXV8Rg— City of Lancaster (@Lancaster_TX) April 26, 2021
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