The Christian conservative group the Family Research Council (FRC) is looking out for Texas Governor Rick Perry's prayer event.

Perry's The Response USA, which is scheduled to take place Saturday in Houston's Reliant Stadium, is mired in controversy. The event raises questions about whether a public official is violating the separation of church and state by hosting a religious event and whether Perry endorses the extreme views of some of the speakers scheduled to appear at the event.

The governor says the day of prayer and fasting is what a “nation in crisis” needs.

“As an elected leader, I'm all too aware of government's limitations when it comes to fixing things that are spiritual in nature. That's where prayer comes in, and we need it more than ever,” Perry says in a video promoting the event. “With the economy in trouble, communities in crisis and people adrift in a sea of moral relativism, we need God's help.” (The video is embedded in the right panel of this page.)

The Christian-only prayer event, however, is in need of a bit of God's help itself. Only 8,000 tickets have been sold (Reliant Stadium holds 70,000) and Perry's invitation to fellow governors has fallen mostly on deaf ears, although Kansas Governor Sam Brownback remains a possible attendee.

“As Believers gather in Houston and in churches across America to observe Solemn Assembly this Saturday for 'The Response USA,' may we be joined in genuine humility. May we rage against and loath our own sins, and take a stand against unbelief in our own hearts. May we sympathize with believers and our fellow countrymen in our common need for forgiveness and mercy. May we repent for ourselves and for our nation, much as did Job when he came to the end of himself, and repented in dust and ashes,” the FRC, a co-sponsor of the event, noted.

The group also prayed for judges who are hearing gay marriage cases: “Please pray for our judges, especially on the U.S. Supreme Court, that they will rule aright when they hears these cases. Pray for the lawyers who will argue our position on natural marriage. May pastors and believers across America awaken to what is happening and get engaged! May the Lord intervene to stop these efforts to homosexualize our nation – and to indoctrinate our children with evil! (Ex 23:1-2; Lev 9:15; Dt 1:16-17; 25:1; 1 Sam 8:6-7; Jn 7:24; Rom 1:32; 2 Tim 2:1-8; Jude 7)”

(Related: FRC prays for Malawi's laws criminalizing gay sex.)