Say a little prayer

More than 100 people gathered Thursday morning at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium to observe the annual National Day of Prayer.

Many religious groups were in attendance, such as Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans and Catholics, as well as Muslims and Jews.

Church, military, business and community leaders offered prayers for the president, governor, mayor and other public servants in office.

According to the National Day of Prayer's brochure, each leader was given seven “centers of influence" to lift up in prayer: government, church, military, family, education, media and business.

"We believe prayer changes things,” said Kari Czer, Santa Monica National Day of Prayer co-chairwoman and organizer.

According to the NDOP website, over 30,000 events are organized on this day, attended by over two million people nationwide.

At the gathering, leaders and citizens recited the Pledge of Allegiance, sang worship songs, read the National Day of Prayer Proclamation by President Barack Obama, and prayed for the city, state and nation. Prayers were offered for the homeless, the sick and those in prison.

On the National Day of Prayer, attendees gather in prayer in state capitols, county court houses, on the steps of city halls, and in schools, businesses, churches and homes, according to the NDOP website.

“The reason why our nation is so successful is found in our motto: in God we trust,” said Army National Guard Josh Nolan, who led the prayer for the military. “George Washington, the father of our country, was a man of prayer.”

According to the NDOP website, the day is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation.

President Ronald Reagan designated the first Thursday in May as the official day of observance, Czer said.

The Santa Monica mayor and City Council members were invited to the event, but did not attend, Czer said.

Before wrapping up the National Day of Prayer, the audience closed the event with the national anthem, "God Bless America."

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