Summit Calls Nation to Return to 'Heart of Prayer'

The National Day of Prayer Task Force is calling the nation to “get back to the heart of prayer” during its 2008 National Day of Prayer Summit, which begins Friday.

In a video promotion, organizers say prayer is the key to curb declining morals and face the threat of terrorism, war and immorality. The weekend event, hosted at the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., is based on 1 Thessalonians 5:17, which encourages Christians to “pray without ceasing.”

The summit ( will kick off with a solemn assembly of repentance, which is being facilitated by Dick Eastman, president of Every Home for Christ. A concert of prayer at the Focus on the Family headquarters will follow, targeting the seven centers of power”—government, military, media, business, education, church and family.

Workshops on prayer also are being offered, but organizers say the event is meant to “lift the United States before the Lord at this critical juncture in history,” wrote task force chairwoman Shirley Dobson in a statement about the event.

“The welfare of our beloved land hangs in the balance, and it's imperative that believers unite in fervent and consistent prayer,” Dobson wrote. “We will also beseech God for His wisdom, guidance, and intervention as we look ahead to the November elections. And, we will seek the Lord's anointing upon our country's seven centers of power.

The summit comes just weeks after the Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit in a Wisconsin federal court challenging the law that created the National Day of Prayer. The suit claims that national and state leaders’ calling citizens to pray violates church-state separation. President Bush, White House Press Secretary Dana Perino and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle were named in the lawsuit. Although the National Day of Prayer Task Force is a nongovernmental organization, Dobson is also named in the lawsuit, which describes the task force as "a willful participant with state and federal officials in joint action that violates the Establishment Clause." 

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