(The Daily Advertiser) – With a theme of “Wake Up America,” the 65th annual Day of Prayer gets underway across the country — and Acadiana — today.
Most local events are set for noon with the exception of two: Scott’s Day of Prayer begins at 11 a.m., and there’s a 7 p.m. program at First Baptist Church in downtown Lafayette.
Also in Scott, a free meal is part of its 25th annual event.
“It’s a jambalaya,” said Shelley Gautreau, assistant clerk at Scott City Hall. “It’s free and it’s open to the public. We’ll have different churches from the area that come and participate.”
Gautreau said there was no problem getting the churches under one roof, in this case the Scott Event Center, 109 Lions Club Road.
“They all came together and decided to do this for the community,” she said.
President Harry Truman signed a bill in 1952 to set aside a day each year (other than Sunday) for the National Day of Prayer. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to make the NDP the first Thursday in May.
Last year, at the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill, in his presidential proclamation on the National Day of Prayer, President Barack Obama said when people of all backgrounds and beliefs are “free to practice their faiths without fear or coercion, it bolsters our religious communities and helps to lift up diverse and vibrant societies throughout our world.”
“In America, our nation is stronger because we welcome and respect people of all faiths, and because we protect the fundamental right of all peoples to practice their faith how they choose, to change their faith, or to practice no faith at all, and to do so free from persecution and discrimination.
“Today, as we pause in solemn reflection, we celebrate the religious liberty we cherish here at home, and we recommit to standing up for religious freedom around the world,” he said.
Tony Evans is the 2016 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer. Through his local church and national ministry, Evans set in motion a “Kingdom Agenda” philosophy of ministry that teaches God’s comprehensive rule over every area of life as demonstrated through the individual, family, church and society.
In part, Evans’ National Prayer for next week’s occasion states “First, we thank you for all the blessings you have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.”
National Day of Prayer in Acadiana
Lafayette’s Day of Prayer – The Horse Farm, 2913 Johnston St., noon. 337-349-6538
Youngsville’s Day of Prayer – Youngsville City Hall, 305 Iberia St, Youngsville, noon. 337-230-5618
Carencro’s Day of Prayer – Carencro Community Center, 5115 N. University Ave., Carencro, noon. 337-247-5521
Scott’s Day of Prayer – Scott Event Center, 109 Lions Club Road, Scott, 11 a.m. 337-988-0030
City-wide Prayer Service (Lafayette) – First Baptist Church, 1100 Lee Ave., 7 p.m.
Port Barre Day of Prayer, Port Barre Town Hall, 504 N. Saizon St., Port Barre, noon.