The National Day of Prayer’s Board of Directors announced Tuesday that Dr. Ronnie Floyd, Senior Pastor of Cross Church in Springdale, Arkansas, will serve as the President of the National Day of Prayer, while also continuing to pastor his church.
In a letter to his congregation announcing his new role, Floyd said, “In this desperate and urgent hour when turmoil and division is evident in America and security threats are being made against America, it is imperative that we do all we can right now to mobilize unified public prayer for America.”
“America’s greatest need today is to experience the next Great Spiritual Awakening, [and] we know that no great movement of God ever occurs that is not preceded by the extraordinary prayer of God’s people,” wrote Floyd. “The National Day of Prayer mobilizes unified public prayer for America.”
As President of the National Day of Prayer, Floyd will oversee the national operation of mobilizing individuals, churches, denominations, and organizations to unified public prayer for America throughout the year, which will culminate annually on the first Thursday of May, when the whole country observes the National Day of Prayer.
As part of his vision as President, Floyd sees the National Day of Prayer becoming a larger multi-denominational, -ethnic, -lingual, and -generational movement. He also believes the National Day of Prayer can become America’s leading provider of prayer resources and strategies, engaging Americans daily via the digital world. Floyd’s life mission is to help usher in America’s next Great Spiritual Awakening, with prayer being the driving catalyst of this spiritual movement.
According to Anne Graham Lotz, who served as the Chairperson of the National Day of Prayer for the past 18 months, the National Day of Prayer’s newly created position of President – which resulted from an organizational restructuring – eliminates the need for a Chairperson as the President will now be the sole face of the National Day of Prayer.
So while Lotz was invited by the National Day of Prayer’s Chairman of the Board to remain involved in the efforts for this next year, she said she feels “led by God to step aside in order to give Dr. Floyd total freedom to lead.”
“Dr. Floyd is a strong leader who has a sincere heart for revival,” she said in a statement, calling Floyd “a friend.”
“I will continue to carry the National Day of Prayer in my heart – and on my knees,” Lotz added. “I have assured Dr. Floyd that I will be in the wings, available for any counsel he may need, while cheering him on.”
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was unanimously amended by both the House and the Senate and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 5, 1988, designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer. Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation.
In 2017, an estimated two million Americans participated in more than 30,000 events, organized by 40,000 volunteers across all 50 states, to observe the National Day of Prayer. Additionally, the National Day of Prayer was also experienced in some way in more than 80 countries of the world. Next year’s National Day of Prayer, May 3, 2018, will mark the 30th anniversary of President Reagan signing the law into effect.
Prior to Lotz, the position of Chairperson was held by Shirley Dobson, who carried the mantle for 25 years, having received it from the late Vonette Bright. It was Bright who successfully advocated legislation to make the first Thursday of every May the permanent date for the National Day of Prayer. Bright served for nine years as Chair of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and went to be with the Lord in 2015.