Day of Prayer set for May 1

COVINGTON - Covington will join the nation in observing the National Day of Prayer on Thursday.

In cities throughout the country, millions of people will pray for the nation and their local communities. A contingent of local ministers, officials and residents will gather on the Square in downtown Covington at 7 p.m.

Pastors from various local churches will lead prayers focusing on seven areas: government, military, media, business, education, church and family.

Musical entertainment will be featured in between prayer sessions. Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring chairs. Seating will not be provided.

The service is expected to last until 8:30 p.m. The evening will conclude with a balloon release.

"We're trying to make it as fun and interesting as possible," said Sharon Varner-Halback, National Day of Prayer coordinator for Covington.

A youth praise rally will be held prior to the ceremony at 6 p.m. The service will focus on middle and high school students.

This is the second year Covington has had its own National Day of Prayer service. The event was well-attended last year, Varner-Halback said.

"Sometimes you feel helpless, like what can I do? I'm just one person. I think it's important for all of us to come together as a unified front," she said. "When we come together on one accord then we can change. We can help in a positive way. There's so much negativity out there."

The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.

"We're one nation under God so we've got to talk to that God together and hopefully he moves for us. Sometimes when it comes to religion, we're so segregated, but we believe in the same God, so just coming together is really, really good," Varner-Halback said.

For more information, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org or www.covndptf.org.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.