There's a good chance that you already know this Thursday is Cinco de Mayo, the fifth of May. It commemorates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862 and has limited significance in Mexico itself. The date is observed mostly in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride.

As it happens, this year on May 5 another holiday occurs, the National Day of Prayer, first proclaimed in 1952. In 1983 Ronald Reagan said, "From General Washington's struggle at Valley Forge to the present, this nation has fervently sought and received divine guidance as it pursued the course of history. This occasion provides our nation with an opportunity to further recognize the source of our blessings, and to seek His help for the challenges we face today and in the future." In 1988, the law was amended so that the National Day of Prayer would be on the first Thursday of May. Two stated intentions of the National Day of Prayer were that it would be a day when adherents of all great religions could unite in prayer and that it may one day bring renewed respect for God to all the peoples of the world (courtesy of Wikipedia).

Cinco de Mayo celebrations will spring up all over Ahwatukee Foothills. Let's face it, these colorful fiestas are fun. There's the tacos, the margaritas, the cerveza, the music... What's not to like? In truth, few people attend these events with any intention of attaching historical significance to them. It's just a good party.

In contrast, coming together as a nation in unified prayer for our leaders, our troops and our future is staggeringly significant. Matthew 18:19 says, "I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you." It is important that we unite and agree in prayer, according to God's best.

Sadly, many people will have no idea about this vital opportunity to make an impact because the media isn't likely to tell them.

Fun, sexy, colorful, noisy parties make for much better TV, radio sound bytes and feature photos than random people sweetly talking to God. Therefore, it is up to those who do know to spread the word and participate.

Will you invite your co-workers and neighbors to pray with you? Will you tweet or post a prayer on Facebook? Will you send an email to friends about where they can meet with others to pray on May 5?

• Ahwatukee Foothills resident Diane Markins can be reached at Visit her blog

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