The Interfaith Center of USA Prayer Service is a Creighton tradition prepared and led by the Campus Ministry Interfaith Core Team with the assistance of employees. This prayer meeting allows us to acknowledge and honor our community’s varied faith and spiritual traditions. This year’s National Day of Prayer was modified to coincide with the pandemic on May 30.
Religions for Peace USA had planned a National Interfaith Prayer Service for Healing and Hope via Facebook and Zoom for the first time in its 69th year. Congress created the prayer for the nation in 1952, and the “National Day of Prayer Task Force” has sponsored a national day of Prayer celebration with notable evangelicals since 1983. This event started in 1988 on the third Thursday of May. Tarunjit Singh Butalia, executive director of Religions for Peace USA, stated, “We pray independently in our faith communities, but it’s equally vital for us to gather together and uplift our common humanity and pray for everyone.”
Additionally, he stated that a faith leader who recovered from coronavirus prayed for the infected. In contrast, another faith leader who lost a close family member prayed for the deceased and their relatives during the pandemic. This national event was co-hosted by Will Graham, the grandson of evangelist Billy Graham. The online gathering, televised and live-streamed on Thursday evening, was attended by Sikh, Muslim, Buddhist, Zoroastrian, Hindu, Jain, Unitarian Universalist, Christian, and Jewish leaders.
The Presidential Prayer Team has also emphasized online activities, encouraging people to sign up for a “prayer room” time slot to pray for national leaders. On the day, prayers of healing and hope for wholeness and health were offered. The progressive denomination streamed prayers from more than 40 religious leaders from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths on its social media channels. Some Christian organizations that have not previously promoted the prayer day participated in it this year uniquely. The United Church of Christ is taking a different approach, announcing an Interfaith Day of Prayer on Instagram and Facebook.