The 61st annual National Day of Prayer will be observed locally Thursday, May 3, from noon to 1 p.m. at Rennick Riverfront Park, Washington.

The theme for this year’s day is “One Nation Under God” and is based on a verse from Psalm 33:12, which states, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

Washington pastors and lay leaders will lead prayers for the nation, state, county and city, including government, education, business, police/military, churches, media, families and individuals.

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America when the Continental Congress issued a proclamation setting aside a day of prayer in 1775.

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln called for a day of prayer and in 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer.

In 1988, the law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.