PARKERSBURG - Local observances of the National Day of Prayer will be held Thursday in Parkersburg, Marietta and Williamstown.
An observance will be held at noon at Bicentennial Park at 1 Government Square in Parkersburg between the courthouse and city building.
The program includes a proclamation from Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell recognizing the Day of Prayer and to join in the national effort to better the country through increased spiritual awareness and participation, event coordinator Tim Baer said. Vienna Mayor Randy Rapp will present the 2014 National Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham.
The event welcomes all denominations and independent churches in the Mid-Ohio Valley, Baer said. A number of pastors from churches in the city will participate.
Also at noon is an observance at the Washington County Courthouse on Putnam Street in Marietta. Area pastors, business and civic leaders and educators will participate, spokesman Todd Osborne said.
Williamstown's event will be held at noon on the front steps of the city building.
The Parkersburg event is 7 p.m. at Fort Boreman when local pastors will lead groups in prayer for the community, said organizer Brian Harrell, pastor of the Liberty Street Church of God.
"The Mid-Ohio Valley has been celebrating the national day of prayer for the past 20 years," Harrell said. "Our community has always had a strong turnout to pray for our local leaders, schools, churches and our overall well-being as a community."
Nationally, the National Day of Prayer has been observed for 63 years.
"It is always great to see a gathering of praying people who come together out of every kind and size of church who want nothing more than this Valley to be blessed with a stronger spiritual foundation," Harrell said.
The theme for the 2014 observance is One Voice, United in Prayer, emphasizing the need for individuals to join together in corporate prayer.
To further highlight this theme, Romans 15:6 was selected as the scripture for this year: "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
"This 63rd annual, national observance on May 1 will have profound significance for our country," John Bornschein, National Day of Prayer task force vice-chairman, said. "By joining together in prayer, we have an unprecedented opportunity to see the Lord's healing and renewing power made manifest as we call up on citizens to humbly come before His throne."
The observance in Washington, D.C., will be broadcast noon Thursday from the Cannon House Office Building on GodTV and the National Day of Prayer Task Force website.
For more information, go to NationalDayofPrayer.org.