Praying for our nation is nothing new. In 1775, the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer as members forged a new nation. In 1952, President Truman signed a bill into law that set aside one day as a National Day of Prayer. Later, President Regan amended the bill to order that it should occur every year on the first Thursday in May. Since then, on that date, millions across America have joined hands to pray as one for our communities, states and nation.
In 2012, Bishop David J. Singleton, of Ark of Jesus Ministries, inaugurated the first area National Day of Prayer initiative here in Rochester. Since then, the city’s mayor, the county manager, as well as state legislators, and other civic and religious leaders, have joined with the public to pray for our nation. Many participants have come from beyond Rochester and even from other states.
On this, Rochester’s eighth National Day of Prayer, Singleton and his launch team are hoping for 2000 participants. All are invited. Since the first initiative, the number of attendees has grown each year with more churches, public servants and people of all backgrounds joining the event.
The ceremony for this May 2 will begin at 11 a.m. in front of Rochester City Hall. As bishop, Singleton will pray for our local communities and leaders as well as the body of Christ. Everyone is welcome. At 11:45 a.m., participants will form a human prayer chain around City Hall that will stretch to the Monroe County Office Building. As people hold hands at noon, church bells will ring, shofars (trumpets made of ram horns) will sound and we will join our nation in collective prayer.
In addition to a choir this year, the presence of our civic and spiritual leaders will demonstrate the importance of prayer in all aspects of life — strong families, government, education, religious life, business and media.
For more information, or to register to attend, go to prayerinitiative.org or call (585) 210-8599. Parking with shuttle service will be available behind Monroe Community College, Lot D, on Oak Street between Brown Street and Morrie Silver Way.