National Day of Prayer events are planned for Thursday outside the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia and in front of the Burbank and Paramount city halls.

What organizers describe as “prayer and fellowship with other veterans, veteran supporters and community members in a safe, outdoor environment” will be held at Patriots and Paws in Fullerton from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

There will be opportunities for “veterans to write their challenges and prayers on the Burden Wall,” organizers said.

Orange County events include those held at the South Shores Church in Dana Point from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and in the courtyard in front of the Betty Lou Lamoreaux Justice Center in Orange from noon-12:15 p.m.

The event outside the Los Angeles County Arboretum will run from 9:30-10:30 a.m. at the picnic tables on the west side of main parking lot. It will mainly be “a time of intercession for governments followed briefly by a time for personal requests,” according to organizer Ellen Dougher.

There will be “intercessory prayer for our community, state, nation, churches, world, schools, business community and many other arenas that influence people,” led by community pastors at the Veterans Memorial from noon-1 p.m. at Paramount City Hall, said Pastor Larry Jameson of Lifegate Church in Paramount.

The event outside Burbank City Hall will be held from noon-1 p.m.

An evening of prayer and worship will be held from 6-7:15 p.m. at the bottom of the ramp on the beach next to Perry’s Cafe at Torrance Beach.

The 2021 theme for the National Day of Prayer is, “Lord Pour Out Your Love, Life, and Liberty,” based on 2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

In his National Day of Prayer proclamation, President Joe Biden said, “Today, we remember and celebrate the role that the healing balm of prayer can play in our lives and in the life of our nation. As we continue to confront the crises and challenges of our time — from a deadly pandemic, to the loss of lives and livelihoods in its wake, to a reckoning on racial justice, to the existential threat of climate change — Americans of faith can call upon the power of prayer to provide hope and uplift us for the work ahead.

“As the late Congressman John Lewis once said, `Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet.”’

A national day of prayer dates back to 1775, when the Continental Congress issued a proclamation recommending a day of fasting and prayer be observed on July 20, 1775.

President Harry S. Truman signed a bill in 1952 proclaiming a National Day of Prayer must be declared by each subsequent president at an appropriate date of his choice. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law in 1988 setting the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday in May.

In 2010, U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled the law establishing the National Day of Prayer was unconstitutional because it was “an inherently religious exercise that serves no secular function.”

The ruling was unanimously overturned by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, ruling that the plaintiff, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, did not have standing to sue because the National Day of Prayer had not caused it harm and that “a feeling of alienation cannot suffice as injury.”

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