In every state in America, Christians will gather at county courthouses on Friday – the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks – to pray for their community and for the spiritual condition of the nation.
Participants of the Cry Out America prayer gatherings will meet at courthouses at noon to remember the terror attacks that killed 2,751 people and to pray for a spiritual revival to occur.
"Our stated goal for Cry Out America is to claim this day of prayer to fully awaken America to return to the Lord and to mark this significant day in its history with powerful prayer for every state, every county, and every heart," stated Billy Wilson, executive chairman for Awakening America, the group organizing the prayer gatherings.
Wilson added that the September 11, 2001, tragedy is a "sobering reminder" that the nation needs God.
Eight years ago, terrorists from the Muslim extremist group al Qaeda hijacked airplanes and crashed them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon – symbols of America's financial and military power. A third hijacked plane was crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., but its intended target is believed to have been the White House or the Capitol.
On Friday, President Obama will observe a moment of silence on the South Lawn at 8:46 a.m., the time American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Afterwards, he will go to the Pentagon to deliver remarks and pay respect to those killed when American Airlines Flight 77 hit the building's west wall. A wreath-laying ceremony will take place at the Pentagon.
The Presidential Prayer Team – a national ministry that encourages Americans to pray daily for the nation, its leaders, the president and the troops – will host an online event on Friday during which people can honor the victims and pray online.
Participants are being encouraged to leave written prayers and create legacies for individual victims using a central database hosted in partnership with Legacy.com.
"As Americans, we can all remember how we reached out to God in the face of the 9/11 attacks," said Scott Fehrenbacher, president and CEO of the Presidential Prayer Team. "We didn't worry about red states or blue states, but we rekindled the spirit of America as a vulnerable nation that depends on God."
Fehrenbacher said the goal of the "Never Forget…to Pray" event is to be a "catalyst" for Americans to return to praying for the nation.
"We honor these victims of September 11," he said. "Their memory is an inspiration to pray for our nation and its leaders in these unsettled times."
Organizers of Cry Out America also call on Americans to pray for those struggling with unemployment and other problems related to the financial crisis. Cry Out America prayer gatherings will occur in more than 709 counties today.
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