WASHINGTON -- It is the National Day of Prayer, and from our nation's capital to the heartland, Americans are gathering to seek God for this nation.
From battles over social issues to the war on terror to the recession, there's a lot to be praying about. The theme for the day this year is Prayer America's Hope.
Click play for CBN News Washington Correspondent John Jessup's report on the National Day of Prayer, followed by comments from two lawmakers who support the event.
With so many Americans struggling to make ends meet while the nation continues to fight two wars, organizers say the need for national prayer has never been greater.
Thursday, tens of thousands of Americans are gathering at the U.S. Capitol building, state capitol buildings and courthouse steps, monuments, inside churches, prisons and homeless shelters to pray.
"I have asked all of our prayer gatherings across the nation after the preliminaries have been given, I would like them to begin with a time of repentance," said Shirley Dobson, chairwoman for the National Day of Prayer. "Because I believe that repentance is key to God's mercy and continued protection on this land."
Dobson has been organizing the event for nearly 20 years and says it is undoubtedly powerful. The goal is to unify the Christian church and preserve America's Christian heritage, while praying for our nation and her leaders.
Christians started arriving on Capitol Hill earlier this week to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Thursday morning, the main event kicks off at the Cannon Office Building with members of Congress. President Obama won't be there, but a representative from his administration has been invited.
Someone from the White House has attended the National Day of Prayer for the past 16 years. Regardless, Dobson says Americans will be praying for Mr. Obama, prayers she hopes continue every day.
"When you think that the creator of the universe has given us an avenue to come before him and talk to him," Dobson explained. "We don't go through a secretary. We don't have to be put on hold. His ear is always available to us and prayer touches the heart of God and then moves his hand in a situation."
The National Day of Prayer became law under President Harry Truman in 1952. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan designated it be held every year on the first Thursday in May.
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