The 58th Annual National Day of Prayer will be observed Thursday with religious gatherings and prayer events held nationwide.
The National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman.
In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan to set the annual observance for the first Thursday of every May.
This year s honorary chairman, Christian author Beth Moore, wrote a Prayer for the Nation that asks the Father in Heaven for forgiveness and favor and to look over this fevered landscape and heal us, Lord.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force, which organizes events nationwide, has stated that it seeks to promote prayer observances conforming to a Judeo-Christian system of values.
It said that people with other theological and philosophical views are, of course, free to organize and participate in activities that are consistent with their own beliefs.
The American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists have done so by promoting a National Day of Reason, held on the same day as the National Day of Prayer since 2003.
The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason a concept all Americans can support and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship, organizers said on nationaldayofreason.org.
In Toledo, John Maxwell, a renowned leadership expert, motivational speaker, and best-selling author, will be the featured speaker at the 20th Annual Community Leaders Prayer Breakfast at 7 a.m. at the SeaGate Convention Centre, 401 Jefferson Ave.
Mr. Maxwell, who also will conduct a leadership seminar and luncheon from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., has sold more than 16 million books. Among his most popular titles are The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, Developing the Leader Within You, and Go for Gold.
He is known for providing life-altering advice, including: As you begin changing your thinking, start immediately to change your behavior. Begin to act the part of the person you would like to become. Take action on your behavior. Too many people want to feel, then take action.
Tickets are $30 for the prayer breakfast, $75 for the leadership seminar, or $95 for both events, available by calling 419-720-5777 or online at nwoprayerbreakfast.org.
Other area events include:
• Concert of Prayer, with prayer and special music, WLMB-TV studio, noon to midnight, 825 Capital Commons Drive, 419-720-9562.
• Reclaiming God: National Day of Prayer Event for Conservative Values, 7 to 9 p.m., International Park, 26 Main St., Toledo.
• GM Powertrain s National Day of Prayer event 9 a.m. to noon Thursday at the UAW Local 14 Hall, 5411 Jackman Rd. Information: 419-473-2854.
• Findlay-Hancocock County National Day of Prayer, noon, Dorney Plaza, downtown Findlay, with keynote speaker the Rev. Juan Salinas fo Church of the Living God.
More information on the national observance is available online at nationaldayofprayer.org.