City, county celebrate National Day of Prayer

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The City of Cincinnati and Hamilton County are taking time Thursday to observe the National Day of Prayer.

This is the 59th annual National Day of Prayer, which takes place the first Thursday of every May. The first national call to prayer was in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of prayer in 1863, and in 1952, by a joint resolution of Congress, an annual day of prayer was established.

Hamilton County will observe the National Day of Prayer at noon on the west steps of the Hamilton County courthouse. Brief prayers for specific elements of our society will be offered by several local religious leaders. Special music will be provided by the Choir and Symphonic Wind and String Ensemble of God's Bible School and College.

The City of Cincinnati is also holding an observance at noon on the steps of City Hall. This event is sponsored by the Concerned Clergy for Avondale.

Members of the Mason Police and Fire Chaplains program are also inviting the public to celebrate the National Day of Prayer at 11 a.m. at the Mason Veterans Memorial. Music will be provided by the choir from Mars Hill Academy in Mason.

Evangelist Franklin Graham will deliver a speech on Capitol Hill Thursday. In Washington Wednesday, Graham urged Christians to openly proclaim their faith -- "even if preaching the Gospel someday becomes against the law."

Graham withdrew from an invitation to speak at the Pentagon's National Day of Prayer observance, but says he will pray outside the Pentagon before speaking at Capitol Hill.

Copyright 2010 FOX19. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.