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Grant County will join thousands of communities around the country in celebrating the 58th Annual National Day of Prayer.
The day-long event will take place Thursday, April 7, and begins with a free breakfast from 6:30 to 9 a.m. at First Love Community Church in Crittenden and Williamstown Christian Church.
Lunch will be provided from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Grant County Courthouse.
“We’re going to do prayers for our nation, for our community, for anything that comes to mind every half hour,” said Seth Faulk, who spearheaded the local activities.
The day will culminate in a 7 p.m. joint service at the courthouse.
“It will be the final prayer celebration for the day,” Faulk said. “We’re calling it the exhale portion of the day. We’re going to have an opportunity to kind of breathe and reminisce on all the things we were able to accomplish throughout the day.”
Volunteers also will be available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for prayer opportunities at every exit ramp from Corinth to Crittenden.
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.
In 2008, approximately 40,000 events were held nationwide, ranging from prayer breakfasts, Bible reading marathons, concerts of prayer, rallies, church prayer vigils, student flagpole gatherings and observances held in sports stadiums.
Faulk said several local ministers collaborated on the idea to celebrate the event with a large-scale event.
“This is very much a cooperative church effort,” he said. “I think there’s 14 churches now that are involved. This is the first time, to my knowledge, that anything like this has been done in Grant County.”
“The last thing we want this to become is a church recruiting plan,” Faulk said. “The goal is just to put prayer on the forefront of people’s minds and give them hope and an opportunity to ask for whatever help they might need.”
About 140 volunteers are lending a hand for the day, Faulk said.
With questions about the state of the economy and other cultural issues across the country, Faulk said that the National Day of Prayer gives people the chance to ask God to listen to their problems.
“I think people need prayer, they just might not know all the time that they need it,” he said. “It’s an important part of our lives that we might tend to not do as often as we should.”
Being a first-time event, Faulk said he is not sure of how many community members will attend.
“I’m buying enough breakfast and lunch for 1,000 people,” he said. “If 9,000 people show up, I’ll figure out a way to feed them. I hope that a lot of people show up. If everything goes the way I’d like to see it go, next year will be even better. We’ll just have a lot of fun.”