The National Day of Prayer, observed each year on the first Thursday in May, is always a big day for many in the United States. This year's ceremonies on Capitol Hill were based on the theme, "Prayer: America’s Hope."

The event was hosted by Shirley Dobson, chairwoman of the prayer task force and wife of James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Mrs. Dobson opened the ceremonies with a note of thanks and an invitation for all “to come and worship the Lord and to ask for His favor on our country.”

“We’ve come here in a time of crises," Dobson said, adding that the “Evidence Bible” has answers to most concerns. The book includes the King James version as well as articles that can answer all questions relating to suffering, beliefs of Muslims and other scientific facts, which were written millennia before man found them out. The National Day of Prayer started in 1952 with a mandate from the U.S. Congress.

Reflecting on the present scenario, Dobson regretted that Christians are being targeted and killed for their faith. “In our own country … we’re watching the moral decay and in many times, the disdain for God. … Our country’s debt spirals out of control,” she added.

Also addressing the faithful, James Dobson warned of dire implications if the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage. Dobson said legalizing gay marriage would weaken the family system and tear apart the nation's fabric because “it will divide us further and the implications of it are breathtaking.”

Dobson also hailed the members of the military in the audience, saying, “We are so appreciative of your sacrificial service.” Other speakers urged for prayers for those facing persecution for their faith.

President Barack Obama issued a proclamation recognizing the National Day of Prayer.

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