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National Day of Prayer encourages prayer in everyday life

National Day of PrayerIn today’s fast-paced world, it can be difficult to find time to pray. In 1952, former President Harry Truman established the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May, to celebrate America’s religious freedom and encourage Americans to set aside time to reflect. 

Taking a few moments each day to pray can help strengthen a relationship with God. Praying is a “recognition that in the midst of busyness, we can dwell in God’s presence,” said vice provost for mission and ministry, Eileen Burke-Sullivan, STD.

One way to ensure daily prayer is to combine it with a habit. A friend of Burke-Sullivan prays each time he takes a certain set of stairs at work. At the landing of the staircase, he takes a moment to reflect and pray, a simple way to remember prayer.

Prayer is a choice, Burke-Sullivan says. If we choose to pray, “you have a habit of paying attention to things you might not pay attention to,” she said.

In the Catholic tradition, prayer is often structured, such as in the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. But prayer doesn’t need to follow a certain formula, so long as the individual takes time for God.

“To be fully human, we enter into a relationship with God,” Burke-Sullivan said. “If I want to be in a relationship that’s really effective, stop and let other have place in consciousness.”

Creighton offers many venues for prayer, such as St. John’s Church, which is open for prayer 24 hours each day. Chapels and religious statues around campus invite meditation and prayer.

Though National Day of Prayer began as a Protestant tradition, its commitment to prayer is something that the Creighton community values, and will incorporate into the liturgy of the May 5 mass celebrating the solemnity of the Ascension.

Creighton University is a Jesuit, Catholic university bridging health, law, business and the arts and sciences for a more just world.