Churches gear up for annual National Day of Prayer events


SAN DIEGO, Calif. — More than two-dozen area churches will be hosting events in conjunction with the annual National Day of Prayer observance, which this year falls on May 1.

The theme for this year's campaign is "Prayer! America's Strength and Shield, based on Psalm 28:7.

The National Day of Prayer Taskforce, led by Shirley Dobson, encourages individuals and communities to prayer for strength and shielding in seven specific areas of local, state and national life.

The targeted topics are the family, unity and boldness for churches, wise leadership at all levels of government, strength and courage for the military, truth on educational campuses, endurance for the business community and honor in the media and entertainment industries. The group also suggests prayers for America's youth and future leaders.

The U.S. Congress established an annual day of prayer in 1952, and in 1988 designated that day should occur on the first Thursday of May each year. The prayer emphasis, however, dates even farther back. In 1775, the Continental Congress set aside a day of prayer, and other presidents, including Abraham Lincoln, have called on the nation to pause for prayer in times of national crisis.

As is the tradition, the taskforce has selected a prominent Christian leader to offer the officials "Prayer for Our Nation." This year's prayer was crafted by Dr. Ravi Zacharias, the 2008 Honorary Chairman.

His prayer may be found on the organization's Web site.

Also on the national Web site are a variety of helps, including a daily devotion, weekly prayer tips, event guides for church, community, school, a listing of local events and a store to purchase publicity materials.

Below is a listing of some of the San Diego County events. The local Web site will add additional events as they are received.

May 1 events
24 Hours of Prayer — New Song Church in Oceanside (Hal Seed -

Open all day for prayer — Lake Murray Church in La Mesa (Jim Reed -

5:45 a.m. — Sunrise Prayer Service at Mount Soledad Cross (John Townsend -

6 a.m. to 6 p.m. — Clairemont Christian Fellowship Open for Prayer (Jim Hill) -

7 a.m. — Grace Point Church San Diego 92130 (David Baker -

7 a.m. — North County Prayer Breakfast at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido (Dick Bridgman -

7 a.m. — San Diego Community Prayer Breakfast at the DoubleTree Hotel in Mission Valley (Jeff Dowler & John Gillette - 

10 a.m. — Mission Valley Community Chapel open for prayer until at least 2 p.m. (Jim Mader - 619-265-1481)

10 a.m. —Calvary Chapel Lakeside Morning Prayer and Worship (Karen Garner)

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Calvary Chapel Lakeside Outdoor Community Outreach Prayer Table (Jani Kurland)

11 a.m. to 2 p.m. — "Concert of Prayer" The Rock Church chapel (Jim Teak - or  (619-293-4200)

11:45 a.m. — Carlsbad City Hall (Roger Moyer -

Noon  — "Prayer Service" at The Rock Church main sanctuary (NTCD, MCRD, USO, city officials, local businesses)

Noon — Marketplace prayer event at Oasis Garden & Deli in Ramona (Dr. Luana Stines, A Touch from Above Ministries -

1 to 3 p.m. — Calvary Chapel Lakeside Prayer Walk around Lindo Lake (Karen Garner)

 2 to 5 p.m. — "Prayer, Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counseling" at The Rock Church chapel.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — Calvary Chapel Lakeside Neighborhood Door-to-Door Prayer Outreach (Karen Garner)

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Foothills Christian Church Prayer Service (Suzanne Alicardi) -

6 p.m. — Prayer Service at the Ocean Beach Veterans Memorial (John Townsend -

6 to 7:15 p.m. — Memorial Flagpole in Vista Prayer Service (Jan Harper) -

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. — Calvary Chapel Lakeside Evening Prayer and Worship (Pastor Bill Bottger)

7 to 9 p.m. — "Worship Concert of Prayer" at The Rock Church main sanctuary -

7 p.m. — Calvary Chapel Carlsbad (Roger Moyer -

7 p.m.— Community Concert of Prayer at First Assembly of God Church San Diego (Ed Chapman -

7 p.m. — Prayer Service at Lake Murray Church in La Mesa (Jim Reed -

7 to 9 p.m. Clairemont Christian Fellowship Prayer Service (Jim Hill) -

May 3 event
8:30 a.m. — Prayer Breakfast at Bethel Memorial AME Church (

For more information about the national campaign, visit for more information about events in San Diego, visit