This year, the National Day of Prayer falls on Friday, May 6. And tied to the celebration is the Bible Reading Marathon (BRM), which has taken place on the front steps of the White House every year since 1990.
Barbara Ann Bivens, IBRA International Bible Reading Marathon Coordinator says this year’s theme, “Let Freedom Ring”, is appropriate as their setting. “Wherever there’s some hesitation about the (quote) ‘separation of church and state’, [it] has been overcome by the simple fact that they are being held on the Capitol steps in Washington, DC, and that if they hold any kind of an event on these different venues, then they have to allow the Bible Reading Marathon as well.”
IBRA, which stands for International Bible Reading Association, is a coalition of ministries that encourages everyone to read through the entire Bible by holding yearly Bible Reading Marathons — which now take place in towns, cities, or villages all over the world. These Bible Reading Marathons are held primarily in conjunction to the National Day of Prayer here in the USA and consist of people, young and old, coming together to read God's Word from beginning to end (which takes about 90 hours).
Biven says what’s exciting is the growth, which she believes points to a hunger. “Over the years, we’ve had [BRMs] from the Mount of Olives, to Red Square to Las Vegas. We’ve had requests from several new states asking for material to set up a Bible Reading Marathon. So we have a real wide scope of areas that have seen the importance of this public reading of God’s Word.”
Since the Continental Congress first issued a call to prayer in 1775, asking colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, America’s leaders acknowledge their need for God’s direction. The National Day of Prayer is an integral part of the United State’s heritage. The event aims to help overcome social, racial, and denominational barriers, and in bringing the community together.