Editor's Note: The previous story published on Charisma News stating the formal gathering at the Capitol for the National Day of Prayer was canceled included misinformation from a source. The story has since been taken down, and we offer our sincerest apologies for promoting statements made in error.
"Lord, pour out Your love, life and liberty," is the petition being offered to the throne room of heaven May 6 during the 70th National Day of Prayer.
Andrew Palau will be co-hosting with National Day of Prayer board member Kathy Branzell, and the son of the late evangelist Luis Palau will be preaching a gospel message during the broadcast.
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.
Join the National Day of Prayer Task Force as they, along with their sponsors, The Museum of the Bible and onecry.com, host an evening dedicated to praising God and interceding for America at 8 p.m. Eastern on May 6.
The main event will begin in the Capitol with a somber occasion. The words of 2 Chronicles 7:14 will be at the forefront of the day as those gathered in the congressional cemetery pray prayers of healing, reconciliation and repentance over the nation. The heart behind this decision comes from long-inflicted hurt against Native Americans. Dwelling on past actions is not the focus, but rather it is seeing this moment in history as an opportunity to ask, "Where do we go from here?"
Then-President Barack Obama signed off on the Native American Apology Resolution Dec. 19, 2009, which Sen. Sam Brownback proposed. The formal document was a part of the proposed defense appropriations spending bill which sought "to officially apologize for the past ill-conceived policies by the U.S. government toward the Native peoples of this land and re-affirm our commitment toward healing our nation's wounds and working toward establishing better relationships rooted in reconciliation."
Since the apology was never publicly declared to Native American tribes, the National Day of Prayer committee took it upon themselves, along with Brownback, to make peace and repent of America's past sins. The hope and prayer behind this decision is to build bridges and enforce the belief that "kingdom trumps nation."
Branzell spoke with Charisma News, sharing her anticipation for the event and the expectancy she has for the day to be one of joy, confession and restoration. Of this kingdom-minded theme, Branzell says Brownback reading the apology at the start of the day sets the course for a national observance of a biblical principle of high importance to Native Americans: healing through apology.
"Forgiveness and healing will be released across this nation, like a wind of the Holy Spirit," Branzell believes. Through modeling this attitude of repentance and confession by restoring America's relationship with its Native American population, Branzell is hopeful that all involved will learn to treat each other as image bearers again.
Through the focus on reconciliation, the 2021 National Day of Prayer will promote a timely and poignant message: It's never too late to say, "I'm sorry."
The full history of the observance, including past themes, speakers, fun facts and presidential proclamations can be found on the National Day of Prayer website.
Every president since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
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
Organizations nationwide are utilizing the 70-year celebration to encourage prayer and repentance on behalf of all Americans. A full list of events can be found at nationaldayofprayer.org/events.
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