Faith & Insight: National Day of Prayer

Pat Propster

Pat Propster

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The first Thursday in May has been set apart by proclamation as a National Day of Prayer. There have been other national proclamations calling for prayer and fasting as well.

After reading through the many proclamations, the one that sticks out to me the most still has to be Proclamation 85. Proclaiming a day of national humility, prayer, and fasting. Appointed by President Abraham Lincoln.

Please read and glean from Proclamation 85 written below, requested by both houses of Congress at that time, Aug. 12, 1861.

Emphasis added:

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation 85

Whereas a joint committee of both houses of Congress has waited on the president of the U.S. and requested him to "recommend a day of public humiliation, prayer, and fasting to be observed by the people of the U.S. with religious solemnities and the offering of fervent supplications to almighty God for the safety and welfare of these states, his blessings on their arms, and a speedy restoration of peace;" and

Whereas it is fit and becoming in all people at all times to acknowledge and revere the supreme government of God, to bow in humble submission to his chastisements, to confess and deplore their sins and transgressions in the full conviction that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and to pray with all fervency and contrition for the pardon of their past offenses and for a blessing upon their present and prospective action; and

whereas when our own beloved country, once, by the blessing of God, united, prosperous, and happy, is now afflicted with faction and civil war (divisions), it is peculiarly fit for us to recognize the hand of God in this terrible visitation, and in sorrowful remembrance of our own faults and crimes as a nation and as individuals to humble ourselves before him and to pray for his mercy – to pray that we may be spared further punishment, though most justly deserved; that our arms may be blessed and made effectual for the reestablishment of law, order, and peace throughout the wide extent of our country; and that the inestimable boon of civil and religious liberty, earned under his guidance and blessing by the labors and sufferings of our fathers, may be restored in all its original excellence:

Therefore I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, do appoint the last Thursday in September next as a day of humiliation, prayer, and fasting for all the people of the nation. And I do earnestly recommend to all the people, and especially to all ministers and teachers of religion of all denominations and to all heads of families, to observe and keep that day according to their several creeds and modes of worship in all humility and with all religious solemnity, to the end that the united prayer of the nation may ascend to the throne of grace and bring down plentiful blessings upon our country.

In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the U.S. to be affixed, this 12th day of August, A.D. 1861, and of the Independence of the United States of America the 86th.


I would hope you would agree that this is an amazing proclamation, one that could even be called for today. Therefore, we will gather at the Capitol steps on Thursday, May 2 at 11 a.m. to humble ourselves before the Lord God almighty, in the name of Jesus Christ, and pray as we lift up the word of God, in so doing enlightening the world around us.

Blessings, grace, grace.

Pat Propster is lead pastor at Calvary Chapel Carson City. 


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