Today is the National Day of Prayer. It's an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.
Created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, it was signed into law that same year by President Harry S. Truman. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.
In fact, each year, the sitting president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors, plus the governors of several U.S. territories, signed similar proclamations.
Locally, there are several events planned, including this morning's annual community breakfast beginning at 7:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church, West Fifth Street, East Liverpool, with Rev. Gene Toot as the keynote speaker. Several other area pastors also will be involved and special music is planned.
Also, at noon, an annual prayer event takes place on the steps of City Hall in downtown East Liverpool.
The communities of Chester and Newell each have scheduled events.
Chester's "walk and pray" is tonight, beginning at 6:30 at First Christian Church, Indiana Avenue. It will proceed throughout the city, stopping at locations where the prayer will revolve around subjects such as church, government, education, business, military, first responders, media and family. Those unable to take part in the expected 2-hour walk may pray at the church.
Newell will hold its "prayer walk" beginning 1 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Council Building at Clarke Field. Special music is planned. Refreshments planned.
New Cumberland held an observance last Saturday, walking and praying throughout its community.
Late year, it was estimated that more than two million people nationwide attended more than 30,000 observances organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers.
No matter your faith, this is a day to pray for the nation we all call home.
We encouraged those who want to be involved to attend one of the local events, or take a few moments of your day and have a similar prayer at home.