But even from the darkest circumstances come pictures of people praying. Thursday wasNational Prayer Day.
Organizers say people everywhere are looking for answers to some of life's toughest questions. The timing of the recent disasters may be pushing many people to look a little harder.
"We pray for those impacted in Oklahoma, Kansas and Tennessee by the tornado. We pray for Your continued presence and comfort to those in Littleton, Colorado," said a prayer leader.
Prayer in America is nothing new, but the way people look at it may be. The shootings in Colorado and the tornadoes in the Midwest have many people looking to a higher power for guidance.
"The issue of things that have happened and are going on right at this hour, I would say, has brought this prayer to birth," said Elder Louise Langston of New Faith Tabernacle.
Participants came from many races and many backgrounds for this National Day of Prayer.
"We joined together and asked God to move in our schools and move in our nation, because we definitely need it," said student Jon Bunn.
"My wife and I, we pray to God to help us guide our boys in what He'd have us do and how He'd have us to raise them," said parent Parker Davis.
For some people, praying is not an important part of their lives. It does not come naturally. Those who do pray daily say that during these unusually turbulent times, now may be the perfect time to start.
"It's a natural response for people to look for hope, to look for some answers, for some encouragement from God, and so I think prayer is becoming an important part in people's lives," said Rev. Eddie Maynard of the Raleigh Road Baptist Church.
At least one atheist group has stepped up to say that public officials should not be a part of the organization.
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