Day of Prayer events set Thursday in Salem

SALEM – Area residents can pray for the city, the nation and seven centers of influence in their lives during a National Day of Prayer event at noon Thursday on the village green at Lincoln Avenue and State Street.

The program organized by the Salem National Day of Prayer Committee will include scripture and prayer for the seven centers of power, identified in a committee press release as government, church, military, family, education, media and business.

The theme for this year’s nationwide event is Pray for America and references Matthew 12:21, “In his name the nations will put their hope.”

A brochure circulated by the National Day of Prayer Task Force outlines the E4 Challenge “…designed to engage, equip, and encourage people to seek and encounter the Lord through prayer for our nation.”

The program in front of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce building is expected to last 45 to 50 minutes and will include patriotic songs led by Andy Black, an opening prayer by Pastor Peter Fowler, flag presentations and a pledge led by AWANA Club members James Lease and Zarak Ross, a proclamation for the city of Salem by Mayor John Berlin and scripture and prayer for the seven centers of power, closing with a prayer by Helen Miletta.

The seven points of prayer will include government by Pastor Ken Sevacko, military by Petty Officer 1st Class Matt Close, media by city Treasurer Bob Tullis, business by Pastor Fred Kirchner, education by Salem Superintendent Tom Bratten, church by Pastor Stanley Grabill and family by college freshman Josh Harbin.

Anyone is invited to attend, with invites sent to Salem area churches, city council members, city administrators, city school board members, Salem Area Chamber of Commerce members and the police and fire departments.

According to the committee press release, the tradition began with the Continental Congress in 1775 and continued with President George Washington in 1789 and other presidents until President Ronald Reagan signed legislation in 1988. The first Thursday in May is now designated as the National Day of Prayer.

Mary Ann Greier can be reached at