With a theme of “Love One Another,” based on the New Testament’s book of John, organizers of National Day of Prayer events Thursday are hoping this 67th annual observance will help unify a divided country.
“Some would argue that we’re having an undeclared civil war between different factions, and the only way we’ve ever settled anything in the history of the United States is people decided to pray and seek God and ask for wisdom on how to deal with the differences between us,” said Cheryl Steen, a chiropractor leading Woodland Park’s observance Thursday night. “That’s on my mind this year.”
The National Day of Prayer is observed on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to “mobilize unified public prayer for America.” It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S Truman. President Ronald Reagan set the date.
The Colorado Springs-based National Day of Prayer Task Force is calling on participants to ask God to bless the U.S., pray for Americans to love one another, pray for centers of influence in America and ask God for the National Day of Prayer to become a “catalytic spiritual movement across America.”
This year’s theme is intentional, said Dai Sup Han, who is helping Colorado Springs coordinator Valle Gabriel, pastor of Venga Tu Reino (Thy Kingdom Come).
“Because of the political atmosphere, the things media are putting out and recent shootings, people get very discouraged,” Han said. “The reality is Americans, including Christians, are very loving. The theme inspires us to be who we are.”
The evangelical Christian task force had called on all 50 governors to declare Thursday a day of prayer in every state as well. Gov. Jared Polis, who is Jewish, first said he was concerned about the legalities. But after pushback from some lawmakers, he signed and issued a day of prayer proclamation April 19.
One event will begin at 11 a.m. Thursday at the State Capitol, 200 E. Colfax Ave., room 357. Free tickets are available at eventbrite.com/e/national-day-of-prayer-tickets-60219969550.
The national observance in Washington, D.C., will be live-streamed from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at livestream.com/accounts/ 2710702/2019nationalday ofprayer.
Local events are:
• A Christian expression of the National Day of Prayer, hosted by Compassion International. Seating starts at 8:30 a.m. Thursday at Compassion’s Global Ministry Center Auditorium, 12290 Voyager Parkway.
The program starts at 9 a.m. with 35 pastors and ministry leaders. Speakers include Compassion International Vice President Silas Balraj; Yemi Mobolade, co-founder of COSILoveYou; and the Rev. Valle, event coordinator. Prayers for the nation, military and others will be offered between speakers. The event will be live-streamed at cosndp.com.
• Cowboys for Jesus Church, 11 N. 22nd St., will pray for the nation from 3 to 4 p.m. as “the biggest, friendliest little church in town.”
• Church for All Nations, 6540 Templeton Gap Road, will hold worship and prayer from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the nation, state, city and churches that “as we grow together, we also learn to love one another.”
• Heritage Baptist Church, 4808 Palmer Park Blvd., will offer prayer from noon to 7 p.m.
• Woodland Park church leaders will gather from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Ute Pass Cultural Center, 210 E. Midland Ave., for speakers, prayer and fellowship.