The National Day of Prayer will be observed for the 61st time Thursday. What is it?
The day was created as a way to celebrate the religious devotion of the country's Founding Fathers, according to the National Day of Prayer's website.
"The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history," the website states.
The National Day of Prayer was designated by Presidential proclamation and has been federally observed for the last 24 years, The Huffington Post reports. The holiday's Christian roots have sparked criticism from secular humanists and atheists, who have created a secular holiday--the National Day of Reason--in response, according to the Huffington Post.
The National Day of Prayer can be observed locally at the in a service at 7 p.m.