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Praying for the welfare of our nation

Americans of all faiths will gather Thursday to participate in the National Day of Prayer.

Held on the first Thursday of May, the event has been set aside as a day to ask for the help of a higher power for our communities, our states and our nation.

The annual event has been held nationally since 1952, with local events in our area more than 30 years.

Local observances begin at 8 p.m. Wednesday, when the Toronto Ministerial Association begins a 24-hour celebration at the Gazebo located at the corner of North Third and Market streets. Area groups will gather each hour on the hour to meet, pray and read the Bible.

Other are observances are set to be held at noon on Thursday.

Steubenville’s event will be held at the fountain at Historic Fort Steuben, at the corner of Third and Market streets. In Weirton, the observance will be held on the steps of the Weirton Municipal Building, located at 200 Municipal Plaza. And in Wellsburg, the Wellsburg United Methodist Church and Wellsburg Kiwanis Club will hold a service on the Town Square.

In addition to local events, the national observance, which is marking its 70th anniversary, will begin at 8 p.m. Thursday. The event will be streamed live at nationaldayofprayer.org.

This year’s theme is “Lord, pour out your love, life and liberty,” which is based on 2 Corinthians 3:17, which reads “Now the Lord is the spirit, and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

It’s an appropriate theme, one that offers a reminder that prayer needs to be an integral part of the solution to our problems.

The right to practice our faith is one of the greatest freedoms we enjoy as Americans. The National Day of Prayer continues to offer a great opportunity to use that freedom as a way to bring about positive change.

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