Credit to Steve Holland of AOL.com – May 4, 2017 – It started in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.
1775 – First Call of Prayer
Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863.
In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations. Since 1952, every President has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
President Donald Trump will take executive action on Thursday to ease a ban on political activity by churches and other tax-exempt institutions as part of an order on religious liberties, a senior White House official said on Wednesday, May 3rd, also mandate regulatory relief to religious employers that object to contraception, such as Little Sisters of the Poor, the official said in a briefing.
Trump frequently complained about the 1954 law known as the Johnson amendment during his campaign for the presidency, bolstering his support among religious conservatives who contend it violates free speech and religious freedom rights. “The executive action directs the IRS to exercise maximum enforcement discretion to alleviate the burden of the Johnson amendment which prohibits religious leaders from speaking about politics and candidate from the pulpit,” the official said.”