LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – This year it was about taking a stand. A stand against threats - past, present and future - to the National Day of Prayer.
"We need to be present. We need to be seen. And let people know we believe in prayer," said Valetta Shaw, annual attendee to Lufkin's event.
Since 1952, the year President Harry Truman signed the observance into law - the nation has prayed together. The Lufkin community prays at city hall.
"I believe that God call us to pray. I believe this nation is as great as it is because the years of prayer," said Kitty Bounds, celebrated the National Day of Prayer.
Hundreds of people packed city hall's atrium. They showed solidarity for something bigger than themselves.
"I think our only hope for the nation is prayer and if we take prayer out then we'll cut our nose to spite our face," said Shirley Booth.
Her husband Wilburn Booth agreed, "Our country is in need of prayer and we need some new direction."
The presentation consisted of area clergymen giving prayers on family, government, law enforcement and more. All issues this community feels deeply about.
Valetta Shaw has supported the city's prayer event year after year. She believes prayer is the solution to our nation's troubles: "I believe things can be turned around. Everything that's going wrong right now can be turned around if we just humble ourselves and pray."
Some are concerned their right to pray at city hall is threatened. Shirley Booth isn't, "This is the bible belt. So, no, I think there's definitely a movement to bring prayer back: in the schools as well as the city, every facet of our lives."
If she's right, then prayer is here to stay in East Texas.