Marriage equality opponents have launched a prayer campaign as the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati takes up cases challenging gay marriage bans in 4 states.

Next Wednesday, a three-judge panel will hear oral arguments in six cases challenging marriage bans in Kentucky (two cases), Michigan, Ohio (two cases) and Tennessee – the most marriage cases that any federal circuit court has ever heard in a single day.

The Sixth Circuit is the third appeals court to review challenges to state bans since the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which led to the federal government recognizing the legal marriages of gay couples.

The Cincinnati-based Citizens for Community Values (CCV), which organized the initiative that in 2004 added the ban to Ohio's constitution, said in an email to supporters that “God's design for marriage is under attack!” and set out a 4-day prayer schedule which starts Sunday and culminates with a prayer vigil for the judges outside the courthouse on Wednesday.

The group called on followers to “pray for clarity of thought and persuasive speech for the attorneys defending marriage in order that the arguments against marriage will be refuted, confused thinking will be exposed, and that all the judges' doubts regarding marriage will be removed.”

“Pray for those engaged in all manner of sexual sin that God will deliver them from their sexual bondage and restore purity.”

Oral arguments begin at 1 PM at the Potter Stewart Courthouse in Cincinnati.