The people's voice of reason

The National Day of Prayer was celebrated on Thursday

On Thursday, national and state leaders paid their respects to God or whatever supreme being they honor in their religious tradition. Kate Cohen wrote in the Washington Post that the day should be abolished, though that opinion was ignored by virtually everyone including the Biden Whitehouse.

"The right to practice our faiths freely and openly is enshrined in the Constitution and remains at the core of our American spirit," said President Joseph R. Birden (D) in a statement. "For centuries, Americans of every religion and background have come together to lift up one another and our Nation in prayer. Throughout America's history, faith and prayer have helped fuel some of the greatest moral missions of our time - from the abolition of slavery to the fight for voting rights and the Civil Rights Movement. Many of our Nation's greatest leaders have been motivated by faith to push all of us toward a more perfect Union and to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice."

"Prayer is also deeply personal: For the First Lady and me, and so many across this Nation, prayer has helped us find solace during tough times and stay grounded in good ones," President Biden continued. "Prayer has helped the bravest among us - including our Nation's service members and their caregivers, survivors, and families – summon the courage to make great sacrifices for our democracy. It has guided the hands of medical professionals, who heal our loved ones, and steeled the nerves of our first responders, who put everything on the line to keep the rest of us safe. We will never know the full impact of prayer on our Nation or the world, but we remain confident that it makes a profound difference each and every day."

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey (R) also released a statement.

"My fellow Alabamians, I am proud to join you and folks across the country for the 73rd National Day of Prayer," said Gov. Ivey. "Our state, our nation and our world have seen recent hardships, but our faith remains steadfast. This year, the theme for National Day of Prayer is, "Lift Up the Word – Light Up the World," drawn from 2 Samuel 22:29-31."

"What a perfect time it is for us to hear such a strong message that reminds us of God's ever-prevailing omnipotence," said Ivey. "It reads, "For thou art my lamp, O Lord: And the Lord will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: By my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him."

"These verses speak to the unwavering support and guidance we find in our faith, even in the midst of challenges," Ivey added. "It teaches us that with God's help, we can overcome any obstacle and find light in the darkest of times. Let us take a moment to lift up our Alabama families, our nation's leaders and all those facing adversity around the globe. And on behalf of all Alabamians, I ask that we join together in prayer for the people of Israel, who have endured senseless attacks in their fight to protect their homeland. May peace prevail and may these acts of terrorism come to an end. As Alabamians, let us continue to stand united in faith, resilience and compassion. Together, through the power of prayer and unwavering faith, we will always come up stronger than ever before. May God continue to bless each of you, the great state of Alabama and these United States of America."

In Montgomery, the annual Prayer Breakfast was followed by the Montgomery Bible Reading Marathon.

Alabama Gazette political columnist former State Representative Perry O. Hooper (R-Montgomery) said, "Montgomery's annual Prayer Breakfast, serves as a beacon of hope and unity in today's troubling times. In the face of anti-Semitic and anti-American protests that are sweeping across our country, these gatherings are a testament to the power of prayer and the Word of God."

Hooper participated in the Bible Reading Marathon.

"On the National Day of Prayer, as we do on the first Thursday in May, we affirm our dependence on divine guidance. The Bible Reading Marathon, a 72-hour vigil on the steps of the Alabama Supreme Court is a symbol of the importance God's Word in our lives," Hooper explained. "In these challenging times, where divisions threaten our unity and moral decay seems rampant, it is crucial to draw inspiration from our shared faith and common values. The Bible Reading Marathon reminds us of the importance of standing together and focusing on what unites us."

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