April 21st, 2010
05:43 AM ET

Congressional group to support Day of Prayer

Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus will hold a news conference in Washington D.C. Wednesday to respond to a recent federal judge ruling that struck down the National Day of Prayer.

Among those scheduled to be at the 1 p.m. ET news conference is Congressman J. Randy Forbes, R-Virginia; Congressman Mike McIntyre, D-North Carolina; and Congressman Frank Wolf, R-Virginia.

"Members of Congress, along with leaders of faith organizations, will join together in responding to the federal judge's decision last week, to discuss the history of the National Day of Prayer and affirm the right of Americans to pray according to their faith," a statement on Forbes' Web site said.

Last week, a federal judge struck down the federal statute that established the National Day of Prayer, ruling that it violates the constitutional ban on government-backed religion.

The injunction against the National Day of Prayer will not take effect until the defendants in the case, President Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, had exhausted their appeals, the judge said.

The Obama administration has said that Obama still intends to recognize this year's National Day of Prayer on May 6. The lawsuit against the Obama administration was brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a group based in Madison, Wisconsin.

The statute that established the National Day of Prayer calls on the president to annually designate one day, other than a Sunday, "on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups and as individuals."

The law was amended in 1988 to designate the first Thursday in May as the annual National Day of Prayer.

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Filed under: Politics • Religion
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. David Russell

    Pray wherever and whenever you want but government should stay out of the prayer business whether it is in the city council chamber or the oval office.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Ron

    Pray at home. Why do the Christian Taliban insist on shoving their piety down others throats? Is it they are so insecure that they have to publicy make a display of it? There is Stop making a public display and show of it of your supposed piety. Pray at home and leave us alone.

    15% of Americans are non-believers.

    April 21, 2010 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. AlabamaAtheist

    If the National Day of Prayer was simply the President declaring "Hey all you folks may pray today if you like", it wouldn't be a big deal. Actually, it would be completely harmless except for the loss of productivity in some folks.
    The problem is that the purpose is actually to give Shirley Dobson the power to put words into the mouths of Governors and Presidents to try and shift our culture towards her fundamentalist, bigoted dogma.
    Congratulations to the FFRF! I'm very proud to be a member.

    April 22, 2010 at 1:41 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bryan


    The National Prayer Day was introduced in 1952. Do you have any statistics that show an instantaneous reduction in crime that year?

    How about in the 2000 years since your religion was "invented"?

    Most improvements in human behaviour (abolition of slavery, etc. etc.) have come about inspite of religion. Your 2000 year old book never got updated.

    Greg C.
    "send these people to a country that was not founded on prayer. " Read your constitution. One such country not founded on prayer or religion IS the United States.

    April 22, 2010 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Duane

    Nothing fails like prayer. Prayer is an excuse to do nothing. "I'm praying for you" is as lame as it gets. "You're in my thoughts and prayers" actually is a euphemism for "I just blew you off". Stop wasting time praying and do something. The government is out of line on this one. Prayer studies have shown the total lack of efficacy of prayer. Stop wasting my money with your government proclamations for such nonsense.

    April 23, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. J Flaherty

    The God-given coincidences in your life, take note of them.

    The unknowing says in their heart, "There is no God and God weeps."

    I will pray for enlightenment, for grace and for mercy for each of you. And that the loving Holy Spirit, who has given you your life, will gently, like a refreshing spring breeze, sharpen your senses and make you more aware of that love and care.

    May each of you become aware of the Holy Spirit coincidences, the very thing of miracles, that pass before you each and every day. May each of you become aware of God's very gentle and intimate ministrations in your own life.

    The God-given coincidences in your life, take note of them. You will be surprised by the joy you will feel, each time God removes the veil that covers His hand, as He lovingly cares for each of you.

    And He will do this, because He loves each and everyone of you very much and because I have asked Him to do this beginning this very day. (For some reason, God often waits to do something good until someone lovingly asks Him to do it. I'm not sure why, but it seems that He desires us to bless each other with good thoughts.)

    Real religion, real spirituality, at work in the heart of a person who truly understands what God desires from each person, bears fruit that anyone recognizes as being good and not bad. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Forgiveness, Meekness, Gentleness, and Self Control, these are the substance of true religion and real spirituality. They are the proof that God exists and that he exists in your own heart, for after all, you are truly a temple of that very same Holy Spirit, when you behave in these ways.

    The Holy Spirit is the true spirit of Love, living in the heart of every human being, regardless of belief or profession. It seeks to protect, build up, strengthen, encourage, forgive, help, shelter, lift up and not tear down. It seeks that we help carry one another's burdens, and that we give comfort, where we may.

    Each person has been created as a temple in which a small portion of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God the Creator might dwell. That is the purpose of life, that each one of us might grow in true love, doing things that please God as we each become, day by day, spiritually more like him. From His perspective, this is sensible. He wants us to be clean and full of love and respect for Him and for each other, that we might abide in eternity next to Him without giving offense to Him or to others. Life on this earth is our opportunity to perfect our true and good and loving spirituality.

    Through these words of mine, and through the Holy Spirit coincidences that you will begin to recognize in the days just ahead, I hope God is able to open the eyes of your understanding, that you might finally realize that God exists, that he loves each of us very much and that true religion and a relationship with Him has nothing to do with going somewhere or meeting with or agreeing with some one else. Rather, it is simply that you try to become more like God by entertaining and emulating those things that are truly good and truly holy in your own spirit, and thereby, become more holy yourself, day by day.

    This is what it means to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, fulfilling His most cherished desire for each of the human beings He has created.

    May each of us succeed in pleasing God and that He smiles, no longer weeping, when we meet face to face.

    May 23, 2010 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  7. AbouBenAdam

    In February of 2001, 170,00 people were gathered together in Florida and prayed for the safety of all present. 3 hours later, Dale Earnhart was dead. Way to go God.

    September 16, 2010 at 5:35 am | Report abuse |
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