As many conservatives and Christians lament the current state of American culture, the organization behind Thursday's National Day of Prayer has revealed a surprising fact that might bring comfort to some cultural critics: this year's initiative will be the largest to date.
There are 47,000 host sites across the nation that will be taking part in the 2016 National Day of Prayer, an increase from the 43,000 locations that hosted events as part of the 2015 initiative, the Christian Post reported.
The theme of this year's event is "Wake Up America" — a sentiment that is tied to Isaiah 58:1, which reads, in part, "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."
The theme was chosen in an effort to emphasize the "need for individuals, corporately and individually, to return to the God of our Fathers in reverence for His Holy Name," according to the National Day of Prayer's official website.
Dion Elmore, chief communications officer for the task force behind the event, told the Post that millions of Americans are expected to take part at the 47,000 locations across the country throughout Thursday.
"Wake Up America [emphasizes] the need for every citizen to wake up to the reality of the challenges that our nation faces and to call upon the unfailing character of God, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men," he explained.
As TheBlaze previously reported, the National Day of Prayer is an annual event that is intended “to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.”
This year marks the 65th observance of the American prayer initiative, which was created in 1952 by a joint resolution in the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Read the entire history of the National Day of Prayer here.
The event comes amid ongoing warnings from many Christian preachers and cultural critics who say that America is on the wrong path. Evangelist Franklin Graham has been among those who have criticized the country for "celebrating sin."
He said during an interview late last year with The Church Boys podcast that both he and his father, famed preacher Billy Graham, are most concerned about the “moral decline” that they see in American culture, accusing the Obama administration of “celebrating sin.”
“Our country has changed so much, and we’ve seen the moral decline — and that moral decline being led by the Obama administration, and championing things like same-sex marriage, which is really defiance against God,” Graham said. “Same-sex marriage is a sin against God. God made us male and female.”
Listen to Graham's comments below:
Graham is currently touring the country for his "Decision America" tour, visiting state capitols and speaking to crowds of Christians who share his concerns about the current state of the nation. At each stop, he's holding a prayer rally for the U.S.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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