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National Day of Prayer 2014:Prayer service and events to be held across the U.S.

The 2014 National Day of Prayer is an annual event held on the first Thursday in May, when all people of different faiths gather and pray for the nation, and its leaders. According to a CBN news report on April 29, the theme for this year’s observance is ‘One Voice, United in Prayer,’ with the emphasis on the need for us all to place our faith in our Creator, who we believe is the supreme ruler over all governments, authorities and men.

National Day of Prayer
National Day of Prayerphoto by Giorgio Cosulich/Getty Images

This year the National Prayer Task Force has chosen the theme verse Romans 15:6, “So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Prayer has always been an important part of our country, dating as far back as 1775 when the Continental Congress designated a time for prayer in forming our new nation, and continued with a call for a day of prayer with President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. This was a way to encourage participation to communicate our need for personal repentance, and prayer, and to move the Christian community to ‘intercede for America’s leaders and its families.’

The National Prayer Committee was formed in the United States in 1972, and went on to create the National Day of Prayer Task force. More than 35,000 prayer gatherings are scheduled to take place with the help of almost 40,000 volunteers, and an estimated several million people are expected to participate in this call to prayer.

This year marks the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer and will be broadcast LIVE from the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Thursday May 1, beginning at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time and ending at 12:00 pm. Scheduled guest speakers include Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, a Jewish Christian, and best-selling author of the "The Harbringer,” and Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Rev. Billy Graham. Anne is also a best-selling author, and the New York Times pick as one of the five most influential evangelists of her generation.

To find a participating church or location near you click here, or to watch the worldwide live broadcast of the 2014 National Day of Prayer live click here.

National Day of Prayer is not a public holiday, and most schools, post offices, and stores are open as usual.