CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dawn Noble says all you have to do is turn on the television to realize how much prayer the United States needs at the moment.

Noble, the West Virginia state coordinator for National Day of Prayer, led a crowd of dozens at the steps of the state Capitol on Thursday in Charleston in a state observance of National Day of Prayer.

“All you have to do is listen to the news and realize and recognize that we are in a crisis in this nation,” she told MetroNews. “Certainly a spiritual and moral crisis. We are gathering here today to call on the Lord and pray for our nation.”

National Day of Prayer, the first Thursday of every May, was observed all across the country including state Capitols and the White House.

At the service Thursday, seven areas of influence in the nation were prayed for including government, families, education, business, media, military/veterans, and the church.

“Folks are gathering from all across the spectrum with one heart,” Rev. Dwight K. Lawther of South Charleston said. “We are praying to God for the best for the city, the state and for the nation.”

The crowd sang “God Bless America” and “Break Every Chain” led by Frank Tettenburn and Kyle Stotts as well as took in dances from Rachel Vilano and Arts in Action.

Different members of the community led prayers for each area of influence including Karen Myers for families.

Myers gave an emotional prayer as she recently lost a child to addiction.

“Father remove our spirits of heaviness and give us garments of praise,” she said to the crowd fighting back tears.

“In due time father, bless our lives to overflow with laughter and joy again. Thank you for your love and faithfulness in our lives. In God’s holy name I pray, amen.”

National Day of Prayer began in 1952 when the day was passed as legislation under President Harry Truman.

President Ronald Regan made the day official in 1971, marking it at the same time on the calendar yearly.

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