May 7th Marks 69th Annual National Day of Prayer

The 69th annual National Day of Prayer is coming up on May 7. This tradition predates the founding of the United States of America, as evidenced by the Continental Congress’ proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

May 7th National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer is an annual national observance established in public law in 1952 and observed publicly on the First Thursday in May. Regardless of the unprecedented challenges that our nation faces today due to the Coronavirus crisis and resulting economic shutdown, it will not be canceled nor postponed – but will look very different from years past.

National Day of Prayer Different in 2020

Each year, people typically gather across our nation in over 60,000 local community events to pray together for America. The number of people gathering in-person may be different this year than in past years due to the Coronavirus pandemic. However, the prayers will be multiplied and amplified in 2020 through new and creative approaches, combined with unprecedented access to digital platforms. In homes, neighborhoods, communities, cities, states, nation and the world, observing recommended “social distancing” measures, NDP coordinators are planning to mobilize millions in unified, public prayer for America.

Focusing on using these digital platforms, this year’s “virtual” observances have the potential to become the largest prayer “gathering” in U.S. history – with millions praying together, individually. In addition to virtual events being held in communities across our nation, The National Day of Prayer National Observance Broadcast will take place this Thursday from 8:00 -10:00 ET. It will be broadcast, streamed and posted in many ways including on our website, seen LIVE on our Facebook page and cross-posted by many of our ministry partners. It will be viewed on television on GodTV, Daystar, TLN, and Enlace, with more stations to come, and on radio through Moody Broadcasting, Bott and Salem Radio Networks.

If you don’t have another option, you can join with fellow believers and Christian leaders for a time of dedicated prayer Thursday, May 7, from 8 to 10 p.m. through the virtual event streamed live from the Billy Graham Library and led by National Day of Prayer President Kathy Branzell and Will Graham.

From 7:30 p.m. PST, Dr. Josh McDowell will speak on The Church in the Midst of Crisis. Following Dr. McDowell’s message, many former Muslims, leaders of ministries, and missionaries including, Dr. Jay Smith Director of Pfander Ministry, Pastor Wally Magdangal Former Pastor of a Saudi Underground Church, and Pastor Emeal (“E.Z.”) Zwayne President of Living Waters, will be leading prayer for the worldwide church. To find out more, visit

The Presidential Prayer Team, the national, nonpartisan prayer ministry for America and its leaders, have said they will host the largest virtual prayer event in the nation’s history on the National Day of Prayer in 2020. The event will allow participants to unite online, pray together for the leadership of our country and be part of the largest collective prayer event in US history.

This year’s theme, “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth,” is based on Habakkuk 2:14, and reminds us that this promise, “for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.” is for us today. National Day of Prayer (NDP) Task Force President, Kathy Branzell, put it this way, “Unprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer! This years ‘virtual’ National Day of Prayer Observance may have more prayer – and more ‘pray-ers’ than ever before!”

Evangelist for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and the grandson of Billy Graham – Will Graham – will co-host the national observance broadcast with National Day of Prayer Task Force president, Kathy Branzell on Thursday, May 7.

To join the free, virtual prayer event, Americans of all faiths can visit to sign-up for a specific time to lift the country up in prayer and access additional prayer resources. The site also allows visitors to opt-in to receive daily e-mail prayer reminders and access the many unique products developed by The Presidential Prayer Team to engage more Americans in daily prayer at a deep level, even after the National Day of Prayer’s conclusion.

For more information, visit

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