They prayed over donuts, on the courthouse square and at sanctuaries across the county.

Motorists on their way to work went to a Franklin church and were prayed over without having to get out of the car.

Greenwood residents moved to pray throughout the day could visit the sanctuary at a church in Greenwood at any time for 10 hours and take communion with parishioners.

And amidst the rain, a small gathering on the steps of the Johnson County Courthouse prayed for the local community and national leaders. Residents of the Franklin United Methodist Community participated in a prayer walk.

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National Day of Prayer was Thursday and local church leaders conducted events that would allow resident to commemorate the day.

Millions of people across the country observed the day with their own ceremonies and local church leaders wanted to make sure that county residents had a way to be involved.

The idea of the day is to cover the community with prayer, said Jenothy Rather, a pastor at Grace United Methodist Church.

“It is important for any opportunity to pray,” she said. “We are called to pray.”

Church members at Grace United Methodist Church organized the courthouse prayer and hosted about 20 people at the drive-thru prayer service in the morning.

For the past four years, the church has invited motorists to stop outside their door and pray with church volunteers. The visitors are met with donuts and coffee before motorists are sent on their way.

“People who stop by are usually very moved and touched,” church volunteer Jan True said.

Rain poured most of the day Thursday, and the downpours may have put a damper on some of the day’s festivities.

Grace United Methodist leaders were expecting between 75 to 100 people to go through their drive-thru, as they have in past years. A few dozen showed up this year.

The courthouse prayer was moved from the lawn to the top of the steps, where those praying were shielded from the downpour by the courthouse.

The rain didn’t damped their spirits.

The courthouse is annually chosen as a prayer spot because of the symbolism of covering the entire community in prayer, including local and nationals government and civic leaders, Rather said.

“That was really the reason why,” she said.

Parishioners at Rocklane Christian Church in Greenwood volunteered to stay in the sanctuary to pray with people who came to the church looking for prayer. Church members also pledged to pray privately at home.

Church officials decided to open the sanctuary for 10 hours to make sure that anyone who wanted to pray or needed prayer could stop by and observe the national day, said Dion Reed, minister of involvement at Rocklane Christian Church.

“We just wanted to make it available,” he said. “Our country needs prayer, we are in a tough spot and we need to give our community back to God.”

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Magen Kritsch is an editorial assistant at the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2770.