Thursday May 7 is the celebration of the National Day of Prayer. Normally people would gather as one, hold hands and pray. With social distance restrictions and COVID-19 concerns, this year’s observance will be different.

Though the Marshall Ministerial Alliance typically hosts a prayer service at Telegraph Park where community members join to pray for the different aspects of the town such as schools, first responders, city leaders and more, that service is not possible this year due to the COVID-19 virus.

But viruses don’t stop prayer and the Ministerial Alliance is asking all residents to sit aside a moment at noon on Thursday to pray.

“Just stop and say a prayer, or some prayers for whatever or whomever you feel called to pray. We can pray for those who are sick from coronavirus, the healthcare workers, those working the frontlines, our first responders, members of the military, those working in the government, our educators, etc. We can join together and still lift up our prayers even while separated. If you are a civic or church leader, perhaps you can even put your prayers on a Facebook page, if you have one. Let us continue to pray, and especially at noon on Thursday, May 7th. We may be separated, but through prayer we can still be together,” organizers of the event said.

Roots of the National Day of Prayer go back to the first Continental Congress calling for a national day of prayer for wisdom in 1775.

President Abraham Lincoln called for a national day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer in 1863.

It was in 1952 that Congress and President Harry Truman passed a resolution inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation one specific day a year, and it was in 1988 that the first Thursday in May became the designated day.

The National Day of Prayer is typically organized around calling people to pray for our churches, government, families, education system, businesses, the military, and the media.

The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth,” and the chosen Bible verse is from Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”

“We hope you will join us in prayer from afar on National Day of Prayer, on Thursday, May 7 at noon,” organizers said.