NEWS | May 8, 2018

2018 National Prayer Luncheon

By Airman 1st Class Helena B. Owens Joint Base Charleston Public Affairs

The Joint Base Charleston Chapel hosted the 2018 National Prayer Luncheon May 3, at the Red Bank Club, with U.S. Senator Tim Scott and award winning musical artist Brandon Heath as the guest speakers.

The luncheon is designed to recognize the National Day of Prayer, held on the first Thursday in May and signed into law in 1952 by President Harry Truman.

“This day is intended to be a day to recalibrate,” said U.S. Navy Chaplain (Lt.) Grant Mayfield, senior navy chaplain for the 628 Air Base Wing chapel. “It is a day to help us focus up, instead of out.”

This event expands from the annual National Prayer Breakfast that has been held in Washington, D.C., since 1953. All religions and walks of life are welcome to attend and worship freely. Commanders are encouraged to come and support their people.

“Even if a commander is not a person of faith, it is important for them to ensure those serving under them who are people of faith know they have their back,” said Mayfield. “It is vital to let them see leadership supports them and will allow them to practice their faith freely. It lets them feel an incredible sense of support and morale when their commanders support their right to practice their faith.”

The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the support of prayer has continued through our history. President Lincoln proclaimed for a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer in 1863.

“We are a diverse nation,” said Mayfield. “But in one way or another we all swore to support and defend the constitution of the United States, which brings every soul the freedom of religion.”