Thursday, May 2, there will be prayer throughout Crawford County in observation of the annual National Day of Prayer.

Throughout the day, there will be prayer at nursing homes and around flag poles at schools, said Janalou Devers, committee chairman for the Crawford County Day of Prayer.

At noon, people in the community will be on the courthouse lawn to pray for businesses, media, education, military, families, church, government and Israel.

In the event of rain, the courthouse event will be held in the chapel at First Baptist Church in Van Buren.

Dyer and Alma will have prayer around the flagpoles at their city halls at 7 a.m. May 3.

Events for the Day of Prayer at the Courthouse will start with the Pledge of Allegiance by Crawford County Judge John Hall.

Alma Intermediate Honor Choir will sing "The Star-Spangled Banner, " "God Bless the USA" and "Thank You, Soldiers" throughout the festivities.

Children from around the county will be leading the prayer for each category. Devers chose children to lead the prayer because she is "concerned and also excited about our next generation," she said.

Civic prayers and national days of prayer have a long history in America, dating back to the Continental Congress in 1775, Devers said.

"The first call to national prayer, requested by the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation," Devers said.

The call to prayer has continued throughout history, Devers said, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of "humiliation, fasting and prayer" in 1863. In 1952 a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer.

In 1988 the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.

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