National Day Of Prayer Theme For 2018

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, it was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan designating the first Thursday of May as a day of national prayer.

Prayer brings people together. Prayer builds bridges between opposing persons and even political parties. Prayer reminds us that we are created in God’s image, and He desires for us to represent Him everywhere we go. Prayer brings unity.

In 2018, the theme for National Day of Prayer is ‘Pray for America – UNITY,’ based upon Ephesians 4:3 which challenges us to mobilize unified public prayer for America, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”

The hope is that individuals, churches and spiritual leaders in America, will unify in prevailing prayer for the next great move of God in America.

“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

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I Can Only Imagine Exceeds Expectations In Theaters

I Can Only Imagine, directed by the Birmingham-based Erwin Brothers, makers of Christian feature films, has risen to number six on the list of top-grossing movies of the year.

Shot with a production budget of seven million dollars, the movie earned that back, and more in its release weekend of Friday, March 16. The movie made 17.1 million dollars during its first weekend and ranked third at the box office, behind only Black Panther and Tomb Raider. Its total run is expected to draw in an estimated 60 – 70 million dollars.

It now ranks as the sixth-highest grossing Christian movie of all-time, trailing only The Passion of the Christ, the three Chronicles of Narnia movies and Heaven is Real.”The second faith-based film currently playing in theaters is Paul, Apostle of Christ, which has made about five million dollars in its limited opening.

“I think it surprised the entire industry, including ourselves,” said Jon Erwin, who co-directed the film with his brother. “This just shows that there is this enormous audience out there.”

The movie tells the story of the beginnings of the popular Christian song, also called I Can Only Imagine. Songwriter Bart Millard, of MercyMe, said he penned the song in 10 minutes, but the song was a lifetime in the making. He wrote the song about his dying father and their relationship. The movie stars Dennis Quaid and Cloris Leachman. For more information, visit

Texas Church Pays Off Over $10 Million Medical Debt In Easter Gift To Local Families

A Texas megachurch put actions to their faith this Easter season by paying off the medical bills of over 4,000 families in the community.
Covenant Church in Carrollton, Texas chose to donate the funds they usually spend on advertising for their Easter service to families who were in need. The church gave a total of $10,551,618 to families who were unable to pay their medical bills.

Stephen Hayes, who pastors Covenant Church, knows what it’s like to be buried under medical bills. After he was hit by a car at the age of 17 and spent 12 days in the ICU, his family struggled to pay off his medical bills until his church family stepped in to help.
Hayes wanted to pay it forward and extend the generosity he had received to those who were also in need, and so that’s what the church did.

They primarily focused on helping local veterans who were injured while on duty.

The church sent out letters along with the funds to people they hoped to help, stating, “We are Covenant Church, and we are local in this area and can serve you in any way, and we would love to be your church. But even if we don’t get to meet you, just know that God loves you.”

In a sermon, Hayes told his congregation that Jesus had sent them similar letters in the Gospels, which tell of the sacrificial love He has for them by dying on the cross and welcoming them to new life.

“If you can imagine what those people this week will be feeling when they receive the letter that you sent them saying their debt is paid. I prayed 100-fold that [is how] you would feel in the reading the letter He wrote to you in the book of John 19:30. Hey, your debt of sin is paid. You are covered.”

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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.