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Image of the banner ad for the National Day of Prayer.
The National Day of Prayer belongs to all Americans and is a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds. Read on to find out how you can be a part of it!

National Day of Prayer Coming to Eastern Madera County

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — The 2023 National Day of Prayer theme is “Pray Fervently in Righteousness” from James 5:16b: “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” The National Day of Prayer has been celebrated annually in Eastern Madera County, at different churches, outdoor locations and in homes and was even live streamed during Covid.

This year, there will be observances at many locations listed here and posted on the Facebook Event page: ‘National Day of Prayer / Eastern Madera County.’

Image of the National Day of Prayer logo. Schedule of Events

6 a.m. – 5 p.m.:  Yosemite Lakes Community Church, Coarsegold
8 – 9 a.m.:  North Fork Post Office
9:30 – 11 a.m.:  Ahwahnee Hills Park at the Veterans Memorial (starting with flag ceremony with all branches of the military)
10 a.m. – 2 p.m.:  Prayer Room, Manna House of Oakhurst
11 a.m – noon:  The Pines Park, at Bass Lake
12:30 – 1:30 p.m.:  Coarsegold Historic Village, small park by Wild Fig Kitchen
3 – 4 p.m.:  Oakhurst Community Park by the flagpole
5 p.m.:  Prayer walk; meet at the Government Center in Oakhurst
5 p.m.:  Live National Broadcast. Please click here or visit the live stream on the Facebook page.

Image of the flyer for the National Day of Prayer.

Other Nearby Prayer Events
  • Anyone in Mariposa is invited to pray at the Mariposa Court House, from 11:55 a.m. – 12:55 p.m.
  • The Madera County Chamber and Madera Ministerial Association are hosting their annual prayer breakfast and luncheon. For more information, please click here.

Typically, observances last about one hour with a pledge of allegiance, National Anthem, one or two other songs and prayers for: Government, Military, Arts/Media/Entertainment, Business, Education, Church, Family, Community, State, and Nation. Group prayers may be read and individual prayer can be requested at the close of the event.

Image of the Marine Corps League logo. At 9:30 a.m., the Marine Corps League is organizing a Flag Retirement Ceremony at the Veterans Memorial in Ahwahnee Hills Regional Park. They will be formally replacing the weathered five military service flags and the National Flag with new ones in a respectful ceremony by representatives of all five military organizations. Marine Chaplain Richard Lamontagne will be the master of ceremonies for the flag ceremony, which precedes the prayer service starting about 10 a.m. He will explain the procedure and significance of this flag retirement ceremony.

Everyone is welcome and we appreciate the leadership and involvement of many individuals and organizations:

  • Mountain Area Ministerial Association
  • Mountain Area House of Prayer
  • Salt and Light Ministry
  • Moms in Prayer
  • Got Hope Ministry
  • Mountain Area Hope Connection
  • Marine Corps League (arranging the flag ceremony in Ahwahnee Hill Regional Park)
  • Caring Vets
  • Diane Boland (helping with event in the small park at Coarsegold Historic Village)

Bringing a chair and shade hat is recommended for outdoor locations.

E-mail prayer requests or questions to saltandlight@sti.net.

The following info is taken from the National Day of Prayer website.

Image of the flyer for the National Day of Prayer.

The First Thursday of May

Image of people praying in church. The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation on the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families. The Task Force represents a Judeo-Christian expression of the national observance, based on our understanding that this country was birthed in prayer and in reverence for the God of the Bible.

Click here to see the history of the National Day of Prayer.

“Fasting and prayer are religious exercises; the enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the time for these exercises, and the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and right can never be safer than in their hands, where the Constitution has deposited it.”

—Thomas Jefferson, 1808

First Call of Prayer in 1775

Image of a man praying. Because of the faith of many of our founding fathers, public prayer and national days of prayer have a long-standing and significant history in American tradition. The Supreme Court affirmed the right of state legislatures to open their sessions with prayer in Marsh vs. Chambers (1983).

The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. 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 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. 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.

Significance of the National Day of Prayer

Image of people joining hands in prayer. The National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.

Like Thanksgiving or Christmas, this day has become a national observance placed on all Hallmark calendars and observed annually across the nation and in Washington, D.C. Every year, local, state, and federal observances were held from sunrise in Maine to sunset in Hawaii, uniting Americans from all socio-economic, political and ethnic backgrounds in prayer for our nation. It is estimated that over two million people attended more than 30,000 observances – organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers. At state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.

The National Day of Prayer is Ours

Image of a woman praying. As Mrs. Shirley Dobson, NDP chairman emeritus, reminds us: “We have lost many of our freedoms in America because we have been asleep. I feel if we do not become involved and support the annual National Day of Prayer, we could end up forfeiting this freedom, too.”

Historical Summary

1775:  The first Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer
1863: Abraham Lincoln called for such a day.
1952:  Congress established NDP as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Truman (82-324)
1988:  The law was amended and signed by President Reagan, designating the NDP as the first Thursday in May (100-307).

Fun Facts

  • There have been 151 national calls to prayer, humiliation, fasting and thanksgiving by the President of the United States (1789–2022).
  • There have been 74 Presidential Proclamations for a National Day of Prayer (1952–2022). Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989–91), Barack H. Obama (2012), and Donald J. Trump (2017) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
  • Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
  • 35 of the 45 U.S. Presidents have signed proclamations for National Prayer. Three of the Presidents who did not sign a proclamation died while serving in office. Two Presidents, not included in the count—William Howard Taft and Warren Gamaliel Harding, signed proclamations for Thanksgiving and Prayer.
  • Records indicate there have been 1,526 state and federal calls for national prayer since 1775 and counting.

On the National Day of Prayer there will be prayer for members of Government, Churches, Military, Families, Education, Media and Business, both locally and nationwide.

Check out this video about the landmark Supreme Court case Marsh v. Chambers!

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