Lawrence residents joined the faithful all over the world Thursday in a National Day of Prayer.
Beck Finger, a Veritas Christian School student, was among 100 people who gathered Thursday in South Park.
"It sounds so cliche and everyone says it, but we truly want to see Lawrence change, we want to see the churches just explode with life, and we just want to see God come alive in Kansas," she said.
A National Day of Prayer was established as an annual event in 1952 by President Harry Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan decided it would take place the first Thursday of May.
"It's just important to me, just to draw closer to God and just to think about all he's done for me in my life. I'm here just to spend time with God and just really thank him," said Joshua McDermott, a Veritas student.
For another Veritas student, Chelsea Redmond, the National Day of Prayer was important beyond Lawrence.
"We live in a country that is moving in a direction that is away from God," she said. "When we come here together like this, he's with us and it's important to pray to him because he does hear us."
The religious celebration continues today and Saturday, with an overnight prayer event at Haskell Indian Nations University. The event begins at 5 p.m. today and runs nonstop through 7 p.m. Saturday.