LAWRENCEVILLE -- A few hundred people gathered in downtown Lawrenceville to worship Thursday night as part of the 10th annual Prayer on the Square service.
More than 20 different churches and nine pastors joined together on the lawn of the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse to lead followers in prayer and music.
The reasons patrons came out were as diverse as their backgrounds.
"Our country. Our men and women in uniform," said Brad Koch, a Lawrenceville resident since 1993. "For each other. For all our races and that all our differences can be set aside, if only temporarily. That's a start."
Crystal McConney, a Prayer on the Square volunteer from Amazing Grace church, had more personal reasons.
"Because we live in a world where people are hurting. And when they hurt, they want to hurt. I want them to see God's light in me so they know they don't have to hurt anymore."
There were prayers for repentance, youth, education, government, community freedom and pastors.
This year's national theme was "In Times Like These," and with the economy and other sectors of life struggling, it was fitting.
But there was also a prayer of thanksgiving.
"We must thank God for the world that we live in," said Pastor Fred Musser of Tabernacle International Church.
Thursday's event was part of National Day of Prayer, a day set aside on the first Thursday of every May for people to come together and pray.
"When everybody comes out and you have corporate prayer, it's so energizing, it's so electrifying," McConney said.