'Virtual' National Day of Prayer amid coronavirus

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The National Day of Prayer celebrated on the first Thursday in May is needed now more than ever, organizers say.

In March, President Trump declared a separate day of prayer after announcing a national emergency during the coronavirus pandemic, seeking "God for protection and strength in times like these."

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The president is hosting the White House National Day of Prayer Service at 4 p.m. EDT, as first lady Melania Trump called for prayer for "those who are serving on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic and comfort those who have lost loved ones."

Still in the midst of the health crisis, the National Day of Prayer observance broadcast will be virtual, even as parts of the country begin to reopen.

"Unprecedented times call for unprecedented prayer!" Kathy Branzell, president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said in a statement to Fox News. "This year's 'virtual' National Day of Prayer Observance may have more prayer -- and more 'pray-ers' than ever before!"

National Day of Prayer Task Force president Kathy Branzell is co-hosting the "virtual" National Day of Prayer National Broadcast with Evangelist Will Graham.

National Day of Prayer Task Force president Kathy Branzell is co-hosting the "virtual" National Day of Prayer National Broadcast with Evangelist Will Graham. (National Day of Prayer Task Force)

Branzell is co-hosting the event with evangelist Will Graham from 8-10 p.m. ET May 7 on the event's website and many other platforms including GOD TV, Daystar, and the Moody and Bott Radio Networks.

This year's theme is "Pray God's Glory Across the Earth" based on the Bible verse Habakkuk 2:14 that says: "For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea."

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Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Sens. Marco Rubio and Tim Scott, as well as a host of pastors and faith leaders, will be joining a 7 p.m. event on pray.com hosted by Jack Graham and Greg Laurie, both pastors.

The National Day of Prayer will be virtual this year as the nation is faced with the coronavirus pandemic.

The National Day of Prayer will be virtual this year as the nation is faced with the coronavirus pandemic. (National Day of Prayer Task Force)

“Our nation needs prayer now more than ever, and so it is fitting that we gather on this day to remind us that we should seek the almighty God every day in prayer," Pompeo told Fox News.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, added, "While we are grateful for Uncle Sam, there is nothing like our Heavenly Father. Prayer is the bridge between heaven and earth. Prayer changes everything!"

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Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii, said that during the first National Day of Prayer in a global pandemic believers should turn to 2 Chronicles 7:14, "Let's pray that God heals our land and that America has a much needed spiritual awakening."

Nick Hall, the founder of PULSE and host of Fox Nation's "Bible Quarantine" series, calls it a "quarantine revival" as his ministry has seen more than 117,000 people from dozens of countries across the world put their faith in Jesus over the past few months.

"Has America ever needed to rally in prayer more than right now?" Hall said.

Earlier in the day, Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear is leading an online prayer event at 2:30 p.m. ET, streamed on the SBC Executive Committee's Facebook page. He also created a guide for individuals to pray for "Seven Centers of Influence."

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On Tuesday, the SBC led a prayer with the Rev. Fred Lunsford, a World War II veteran and pastor of 70 years, who organized an event for a revival with 255,000 online registratnts.

In 2019, Trump observed the National Day of Prayer with Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein of Chabad of Poway, a week after a woman was killed and three others were injured in a shooting at the synagogue.