Christians gathered outside government buildings and education centers on the Southcoast Thursday, taking part in the National Day of Prayer.

In Fairhaven, about a dozen people stood on the stairs of Town Hall, singing hymns and offering prayers for national and local government leaders.

Prayers were also offered for local schools, the military, police and firefighters, families and the media.

Pastor Jeanne O'Leary says recent incidents of violence at New Bedford High School show the need to restore prayer in schools.

There were a half dozen Day of Prayer events throughout the region, including one at UMass Dartmouth.