RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--Are more people in the nation praying, in light of horrific events like those in Boston and Newtown?
It's one of the thoughts that came up during Thursday's National Day of Prayer.
Thousands of people paused to do in public today what many do in private--pray-- as part of the National Day of Prayer.
Those who participated in the observance, held on the state capitol grounds, said that prayer is something often forgotten but always important.
While some may disagree on whether or not the country is more reliant on prayer in 2013 than years past, most in attendance agreed that prayer is important.
Since 1988, the First Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer.
"I think our founders fought for religious freedom and religious liberty and I think it's an important thing for us to honor today, on the National Day of Prayer,” said Janet Kelly, of Christian non-denomination.
Many say that prayer continues to play an important role across the United States.
"It reminds different folks through different tragedies that we need to continue to step up and continue to pray and seek Good but prayer is something that's been going from the get go,” said Andrew George, with the Clover Hill Assembly of God
But some say, prayer shouldn't be confined to just one day.
"Every day should be a day of prayer, so it's just an ordinary day,” said Aisha DeBerry, St. Paul's Baptist Church.
"We do need more prayer and more people concerned about prayer,” said Glen Lutz, State Coordinator National Day of Prayer.
"I think it’s pretty cool to see everybody come together, from all these different backgrounds and different churches and just pray for our leaders and for all areas of our country,” said 17-year-old Jackie Greenwald with Swift Creek Baptist Church.
Although Thursday's event was Christian based, local Islamic leaders agree that prayer is important.
"People have a lot of fears and the whole purpose of prayer is to just put your concerns with God so that you can make rational decisions,” said Imam Ammar Amonette, with the Islamic Center of Virginia.