LOS ANGELES (CNS) - National Day of Prayer events are planned for Thursday throughout Los Angeles County, including outside the Los Angeles, Glendora, Paramount and Burbank city halls.
Pastors from several churches will lead attendees in a prayer for the nation at noon on the South Lawn of Los Angeles City Hall, organizers said. Prayer guides will be provided. Attendees are advised to bring water and a chair if they prefer to sit down.
Pastors from various Glendora churches and their congregations will pray for the nation and community on the front lawn of City Hall from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
Paramount Mayor Isabel Aguayo and other city officials are scheduled to speak and pray at an event beginning at 12:10 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial next to City Hall.
The event outside Burbank City Hall will be from noon to 1 p.m.
Other events planned for Los Angeles County include a prayer meeting at 11:30 a.m. at Calvary Church West Hills, various prayers for areas of influence will be made, special music will be played and a lesson from Pastor George E. Hurtt on prayer will be given at Mt. Sinai Church in South Los Angeles at noon and 7:15 p.m. and the Lakewood Village Community Church in Long Beach will conduct a National Day of Prayer service at 7 p.m.
In Orange County, prayer gatherings are planned for the Newport Beach and Laguna Beach city halls at noon and the Huntington Beach City Hall at 6:30 p.m.
There will be 20 minutes of prayer time around the flagpoles of the Betty Lou Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange beginning at noon. A one-hour prayer meeting will be begin at 6 p.m. at Florence Joyner Olympiad Park in Mission Viejo.
The 2023 theme for the National Day of Prayer is, "Pray Fervently In Righteousness And Avail Much" from James 5:16b,"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much."
In his National Day of Prayer proclamation, President Joe Biden said, "In periods of peace and prosperity and in times of struggle and strife, countless Americans turn to prayer to seek guidance, bolster our faith, and brace our spirits when we need it most.
"Prayer is both a personal and communal act -- composed of our most intimate thoughts and a practice observed by multitudes across our diverse nation in every language, culture, religion, and belief system. On this National Day of Prayer, we recognize the profound power of prayer, grounded in deep humility and hope."
A national day of prayer dates back to 1775, when the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending a day of fasting and prayer be observed on July 20, 1775.
President Harry S. Truman signed a bill in 1952 proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each subsequent president at an appropriate date of his choice. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law in 1988 setting the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May.
In 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled the law establishing the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional because it was "an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function."
The ruling was unanimously overturned by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that the plaintiff, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, did not have standing to sue because the National Day of Prayer had not caused it harm and that "a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury."