MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Groups from throughout Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune and neighboring installations gathered to celebrate the National Day of Prayer with a breakfast at the Paradise Point Officers Club aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, May 3.
The event marked the 61st anniversary of the National Day of Prayer, a day where Americans can gather to pray, regardless of religion, as a country.
“When we all come together we can accomplish so many more things than we can separately,” said Chaplain Nashaunna Sanders, a staff chaplain at Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune. “On (the National Day of Prayer) we are all in accord together.”
The event included breakfast, from Clubs and Catering with Paradise Point and words from Daniel J. Akin, the president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
“(The National Day of Prayer) is a significant day to rally everyone and encourage them in their daily walk with the lord,” said Chaplain Gary Pepper, the command chaplain with Marine Corps Combat Support Service School at Camp Johnson. “It’s an intentional day to pray. We should pray every day. We should pray without ceasing, but this is a time where we can do it together.”
According to the National Day of Prayer Task Force, the day has been marked as a day of prayer since 1952 in a joint resolution of congress and President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan amended the law so the National Day of Prayer is held each year the on the first Thursday of May. Since 1952, presidents have signed a yearly proclamation marking the day.
“I invite all citizens of our Nation, as their own faith directs them, to join me in giving thanks for the many blessings we enjoy, and I call upon individuals of all faiths to pray for guidance, grace, and protection for our great nation as we address the challenges of our time,” said President Barack Obama in the presidential proclamation for 2012.
The event included prayers for wounded warriors, retirees, military spouses, deployed military, the fallen, and national leaders, among others.
Pepper said the day is an opportunity to pray for everyone and anyone, and to encourage those who want to, to think about their spirituality.
“We have so many different Marines and sailors here,” said Pepper. “Sometimes we forget about humanity when working with one another. So, it’s a great opportunity to think about think about spirituality, to spur one another onto good deeds and good thoughts.”
Sanders said she hoped that the experience would give participants a sense of renewal.
“Hopefully they were restored and revived,” said Sanders.