USA (MNN) — While Christians in the United States gear up for the 56th Annual National Day of Prayer, believers across the country are reading through God's Word in preparation for that observance. The National Bible Reading Marathon, partnering with Bible Pathway Ministries, is an annual tradition that prepares the way for unity in prayer.
The 18th Annual U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon began Sunday evening on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. This event draws hundreds of Bible believers from across the country to read the Holy Word of God aloud in the shadow of the halls of Congress. For 90 continuous hours, the Bible is read aloud without interruption or comment, beginning with Genesis 1:1 and ending with Revelation 22:21. The U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon will conclude on Thursday, May 3, with a 2:00PM closing ceremony after which the National Day of Prayer Observance will begin at the same location.
Rev. Michael Hall, Pastor of The Peoples' Church and Executive Director of the International Bible Reading Association, along with Faith and Action President Rev. Rob Schenck opened this year's event following a two-hour prayer service on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The service featured clergy from several Christian traditions, including former Navy Chaplain Gordon James Klingenschmitt and two praise and worship youth groups.
The U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon began in 1990, the year proclaimed by a Joint Congressional Resolution and Presidential Proclamation by President George H. W. Bush as the International Year of Bible Reading. This event serves to honor the Bible and the Holy Word of God, celebrate religious freedom, and unite the diverse branches of Christianity around the Bible.
Readers who participate come from many backgrounds and locations all across America. Members of Congress and world-renowned evangelists, pastors, and Christian performing artists stand alongside police chiefs, military personnel, nurses, teachers, school children, retirees, and otherwise ordinary believers to raise up the Word of God. Every culture, age, denomination, race, and political party is represented. Many branches of faith are represented as well, including Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Messianic and Jewish.
Prayer stations will be available for those wishing to offer prayers for the nation, and a special youth prayer "Student Reunion" service is scheduled from 6:00PM to 8:00PM on Wednesday, May 2. Seating is available for those wanting to listen and pray.
The U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon will be webcast at www.DCBibleMarathon.org