Society & Culture

National Day of Prayer today

Vermont’s observation of the National Day of Prayer will take place today at the State House and in many locations throughout Vermont.

Craig and Deb Bensen of Cambridge had for many years been the state co-ordinators for the NDP.  With Craig’s passing in November of 2020, Ray and Cathy Williams have been commissioned to join with Deb as a three-strand cord team.  They live in Milton and are blessed to be a part of this prayer initiative and working along side of Deb during this time of healing.  

With restrictions easing, social gatherings are now permitted with some guidelines.  Here are a few options for participating.

  • Gathering at the Vermont Statehouse, noon – 1 PM.  Details to follow.
  • Chittenden 9 am – 3 pm, at the Little Church in the Valley
  • Stowe, 5-6 pm, Gazebo at the Stowe Free Library.
  • St.Johnsbury- 5:30 pm – 6:30 pm, Caledonia County Courthouse.
  • East Hardwick – 6-8 pm, Touch of Grace AG Church.
  • Island Pond – 6-7 pm, First Congregational Church of Brighton.
  • Middlebury – 6-7 pm, Middlebury Green Gazebo.
  • Milton – 8 – 6-8 pm, Cornerstone Community Church.
  • Cambridge – 6:30 – 8:30 pm, Cambridge Christian Fellowship.
  • Joining National Live Streamed Broadcast 
  • Zoom Prayer calls
  • Meeting in homes
  • Prayer walking

President Thomas Jefferson wrote, “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.” 

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 America’s 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. 

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