By Dan Galanffy
Special to the Daily Herald
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance that was enacted by Congress in 1952 as a day for Americans of all religious traditions to acknowledge their dependence upon God Almighty, to thank Him for His bountiful blessings, and to seek His intervention in the affairs of the nation.
Every year, millions of people gather in various public and private venues for prayer, praise and worship on the first Thursday in May.
It is estimated that more than 2 million people attended more than 40,000 prayer events last year in observance of the National Day of Prayer.
At state capitols, county courthouses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, people stopped their activities and gathered for prayer.
The official National Day of Prayer this year falls on Thursday, May 7, though some prayer events have already begun and others will begin soon.
Following is a list of planned activities in the local area:
Prayer events Wednesday
This year's National Day of Prayer observance begins Wednesday evening, May 6, with youth prayer events throughout the nation.
Some youth groups are joining with other youth groups to have combined prayer events.
All church groups that normally meet on Wednesday are invited to spend at least a portion of their time focusing on prayer for the nation.
In the local area, two citywide youth prayer events are scheduled:
3504 E. Central Texas Expressway, Killeen
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Destiny World Outreach Center
101 N. W.S. Young Drive, Killeen
7 - 8:30 p.m.
Individual prayer Thursday
People who prefer to pray alone or in small groups are invited to pray at locations and times of their choice. Those who would like to have a quiet place to go are invited to consider the following locations:
2201 S. Clear Creek Road, Killeen
chapel open 24 hours
Central Christian Church
1301 Trimmier Road, Killeen
6:30 - 7:30 a.m. (come and go)
Combined prayergatherings Thursday
For people whose schedules permit, several prayer events are planned throughout the day at various locations. These events represent one of the main goals of the National Day of Prayer, which is to practice biblical unity.
Such gatherings intentionally involve people with diverse cultural, religious, economic and political preferences. They provide opportunities for the church at large to temporarily set aside the ideals that normally divide them into various "camps," and to pray together for God's mercy and blessing upon our nation.
The following prayer gatherings will be held in the Killeen area:
Pershing Park Baptist Church
1200 Old FM 440
9:00 – 11:30 a.m.
2201 S. Clear Creek Road
9 - 9:20 a.m.
Westside Baptist Church
711 Stagecoach Road
First United Methodist Church
508 N. Gray St.
St. Paul Chong Hasang Catholic Church
1000 E. FM 2410, Harker Heights
Noon prayer events Thursday
People all across the nation will be assembling at various noontime public observances, including Washington, D.C., and all 50 states, at various capitol buildings, county courthouses, and municipal buildings.
Prayers at these events will be offered by various elected and appointed officials, government employees, and businessmen and women, as well as clergy and laity.
In the local Central Texas area, the following events are planned:
Killeen City Hall (council chambers)
101 N. College St.
Noon – 1 p.m.
(free lunch provided to all by KPLE-TV)
Copperas Cove City Hall (council chambers)
507 S. Main St.
Noon – 1 p.m.
Temple Municipal Building
Main & Central
Noon – 1 p.m.
Old Post Chapel
Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Gatesville City Hall (civic auditorium)
110 N. Eighth St.
Noon - 1 p.m.
(doors open at 9 a.m.)
Regional eveningcelebration event
The day's activities will conclude at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton with Central Texans gathering for the annual regional celebration.
This is the highlight event for the local National Day of Prayer, and brings together a variety of expressions of prayer, praise and worship from around the greater Fort Hood area, including children and youth.
The guest speaker will be Bishop Satish Raiborde from India, a man who lives a lifestyle of prayer. The public is invited, and there is no charge to attend.
Bell County Expo Center
Loop 121, Belton
(preliminary events begin at 6:30 p.m.)
Additional information is available at