Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee recently issued a proclamation declaring Oct. 10 as a voluntary "Day of Prayer, Humility, and Fasting."
On Thursday, October 10th, @MariaLeeTN and I invite all Tennesseans who wish to participate to join us in a day of prayer for this remarkable state we’re blessed to call home. pic.twitter.com/A7nXwxnIIj
— Governor Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) October 4, 2019
"Everywhere that Maria and I travel across this great state we've met with countless number of people that come up to me and say, 'Governor, we're praying for you and for Maria and for your family'," the governor said in a video posted on Twitter.
— Governor Bill Lee (@GovBillLee) September 18, 2019
"We know that prayer accomplishes much," he said. "Prayer strengthens our families and it strengthens our communities. It strengthens our relationship with our neighbors. It strengthens our relationship with God himself."
He continued, "So, because of that, we have decided to proclaim an official day of prayer and fasting for our state on Oct. 10 this year. On that day, Maria and I will take the day and offer prayers of healing. Prayers for forgiveness. Prayers of thanksgiving. And prayers of hope for our state and for the 6.7 million who call Tennessee home. We invite all Tennesseans to join with us. In their homes. In their communities. In their places of worship, to fast and to pray for God's favor and blessing on the people of Tennessee."
Meanwhile, there has been both praise and backlash for the governor's prayer proclamation.
Thank you Governor, for being an open and Godly leader, and for being bold in your faith. We are blessed to have your leadership in TN. We should all humble ourselves and pray for our state and local communities, as well as the nation and the rest of the world.
— Todd Fordahl (@tnfarmercop) September 24, 2019
"Thank you, Governor, for being an open and Godly leader, and for being bold in your faith," Todd Fordhal tweeted. "We are blessed to have our leadership in TN. We should all humble ourselves and pray for our state and local communities, as well as the nation and the rest of the world."
Julie Smith said, "Thank you, Governor and Maria. Thank you. Jesus is the Only Answer."
Thank you, Governor and Maria. Thank you. Jesus is the Only Answer.
— Julie Smith (@Juliesm54588614) September 19, 2019
"So many issues with this," said Sophie Smith. "You represent ALL Tennesseans not just the ones who think praying makes sense. Keep religion out of politics."
So many issues with this. You represent ALL Tennesseans, not just the ones who think praying makes sense. Keep religion out of politics.
— Sophie Smith (@SophieS64830256) September 19, 2019
Another complained, "Official? What about separation of church and state?"
US presidents and local leaders have declared days of prayer and thanksgiving on countless occasions in the past. In fact, America's very first President George Washington kicked it off by declaring Thursday, November 26, 1789 as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. That's why the entire country celebrates Thanksgiving as a holiday each year.
CBN News reached out to Gov. Lee's office for comment on this story. At time of publication for this article, we had not received a response.