The 62nd annual National Day of Prayer will be conducted this Thursday on the courthouse lawn from 12 p.m. to 12:35 p.m.

Many churches and places of worship are expected to provide support and join in the event, according to Rev. Fred Rogers of First Assembly of God.

"I'm looking forward to a good across the county participation," Rogers said. "Just about every church cooperates in any way they can."

The prayers will be led by members from the community such as teachers and business leaders, not official clergy-members, said Rogers. The aim is to be non-denominational and respectful of all faiths.

The group will begin prayer at the national level, beginning with the President and congress. The prayers will then focus on the state and local levels including the county, city and schools, Rogers said. 

The event is scheduled to happen, rain or shine, says Rogers. If it does rain, the group will meet in the courthouse.

Those planning to attend the event are suggested to bring lawn chairs, according to Event Coordinator Georgia Swayne.

Last year, there were an estimated 250-300 people reflecting as part of the event, Swayne said. Around the same number of attendees are expected this Thursday.

In previous years, judges from the area have been a part of the group prayer on the courthouse lawn, Swayne said. She has been actively participating with the event since retiring from teaching second grade at Berryhill Elementary in 1994.

The National Day of Prayer has roots in American history dating back to the First Continental Congress in 1775, according the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a non-profit group formed to promote the event. President Harry Truman signed a federal law establishing a national day of prayer in 1952.

The law was amended in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan, designating the first Thursday of May as the official date.

Santa Rosa will be reflecting with the rest of the nation during the event. Millions of people of all faiths are expected to gather at public places, including parks, churches, synagogues and courthouses to observe the day of prayer, according to Rogers.

"People recognize that we need God's help in our schools, in our families," Rogers said. "I think people want to come to show that their reliance is on the Lord."