People of all religious denominations will come together next month to pray for this community, the state and the nation.

The annual National Day of Prayer will take place May 4 at 7 p.m. at the Family Y.

It started in Wayne County when some local people came together in 2011 to hold a community prayer event. Before that, several local churches held individual day of prayer events.

"In 2011, we felt led by the Lord to get the community behind it, not just individual churches," said day of prayer task force member Pat Keim. "That's when it started as a community wide call to prayer."

National Day of Prayer began in 1775 when Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a National Day of Humiliation, Fasting and Prayer.

A joint resolution by congress, signed by President Harry Truman, in 1952 declared a national day of prayer as an annual event.

President Ronald Reagan amended the law in 1988, calling for the first Thursday of every May as National Day of Prayer.

"The big thing was we just wanted to get the community to come together," Mrs. Keim said. "As the Bible says, all nations, tribes and tongues, just come and pray for this nation."

This year's theme is "For Your Great Namesake" It's based on Daniel 9:19: "O Lord listen, O Lord forgive, O Lord hear and act for your sake, My God, do not delay because of your city and for your people who bear your name."

Mrs. Keim said the goal is to get all of the community to come and join in prayer.

"It's so needful," she said. "We also want to show that we as Christians can come together and pray and support our folks."

She said the first community event in 2011 was held at Goldsboro High School, with about 50 people attending. Last year, about 300 attended.

Task force member Dawn Jones said the local National Day of Prayer has continued to grow each year.

"We've had people come from different churches," she said. "Everyone that has come out has had a heart to pray for our county and our nation. As people are leaving, they've been very excited, happy and thankful for a localized event."

Before the event begins, members of the M-25 motorcycle group from First Pentecostal Holiness Church, will be stationed in front of the Y with flags to welcome participants.

National Day of Prayer will start with a call to prayer. The areas of prayer will be government, military, media, business, education, church, family and youth.

Mac Sullivan, CEO at Pate-Dawson, will be the speaker. There will be music by a gospel choir from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and also other musicians.

"National Day of Prayer places us in a position to be a blessing to others as we meet," Mrs. Keim said. "It places us in a position to receive a blessing as we participate in this event."