National Day of Prayer and Holocaust Remembrance Share Same Day

WASHINGTON, DC – May 1st and 2nd are inextricably conjoined in 2019 as the former is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) and the latter is the National Day of Prayer. The two days do not often adjoin or overlap.

May 1st and 2nd are inextricably conjoined in 2019 as the former is Holocaust Remembrance Day (Yom HaShoah) and the latter is the National Day of Prayer.

Holocaust Remembrance Day is scheduled according to the Hebrew calendar on the 27th day of the month of Nisan which, in 2019, begins at sunset on May 1st and ends at sunset the next day. The U.S. National Day of Prayer is scheduled annually on the first Thursday of May.

The last time the two observances were juxtaposed was in 2016 when Yom HaShoah occurred on Wednesday, May 4th. The National Day of Prayer was the following day.

The two will not share the same day again until 2043 when Yom HaShoah will be observed from sunset on Wednesday, May 6th until sunset on May 7th. The National Day of Pray will be Thursday, May 7th.

The two have never shared the same date since Holocaust Remembrance Day was first officially observed in 1951.

My Jewish Learning’s website notes that

“Jews in North America observe Yom HaShoah within the synagogue as well as in the broader Jewish community. Commemorations range from synagogue services to communal vigils and educational programs.

“Some communities choose to emphasize the depth of loss that Jews experienced in the Holocaust by reading the names of Holocaust victims one after another — dramatizing the unfathomable notion of six million deaths.”

Holocaust Remembrance Day should prompt us to look back to some of the darkest times in Jewish history as a fanatical world leader envisioned the complete eradication of the Jews as “The Final Solution” for all the ills that he alleged they had caused.

Given that Thursday is also the National Day of Prayer, it could also be a special time for Christians to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6) and the Lord’s protection over His chosen people. The nation of Israel labors under constant threats from terrorists who have vowed to wipe the entire country off the map.

The National Day of Prayer was created by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry Truman in 1952, just a year following the official establishment Holocaust Remembrance Day.

It is the hope of the leadership team behind the National Day of Prayer that

“individuals, churches, and spiritual leaders in America will humble ourselves and unify in prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in America. We can come together in clear agreement that this is our greatest need. We can become a visible union, standing together in prayer. We can pray more than ever before, and practice extraordinary prayer for the next great move of God in America that will catapult the message of the gospel nationally and internationally.”

The theme of this year’s National Day of Pray is “Love One Another” extracted from John 14:34, “Love one another, just as I have loved you.”

We urge readers to set aside some time aside on Thursday, May 2nd, to remember and to pray. Select this link to access a Prayer Guide with suggested ways to unite in prayer for Americans to love one another.

We encourage you to join the National Day of Prayer Celebration in Washington, DC, via livestream at this link from 7:30 until 9:30 EDT. The broadcast will feature the Brooklyn Tabernacle Singers and pastor Andrew Brunson who was recently released from prison in Turkey in October 2018.

“There is no great movement of God that has ever occurred that does not begin with the extraordinary prayer of God’s people.” — Dr. Ronnie Floyd, President, National Day of Prayer Task Force

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