Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The next several days will be very difficult for South Carolina, and our state's leaders took a moment to nod in prayer to get themselves ready for what's ahead.

At the beginning of Thursday's news conference about the state's response to Hurricane Florence, Gov. Henry McMaster asked South Carolina National Guard Captain John Denny, a chaplain for the group, to lead the leaders in prayer.

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Here's what he said:

"Help us to exercise sound judgment in our preparations for the storm. Help us to be wise in our decisions. Help draw us closer to each other, and strengthen our bonds within our communities, and as a state, though our care for one another.

"Help us to use this event as a rallying point for unity. Help keep us safe oh Lord, help us to honor and praise you even in the midst of a storm. Help us to remember that the same God who create the heavens and the earth is the same God that is with us and will see us through the storm.

"We ask all these things in your gracious name oh Lord. South Carolina strong, South Carolina proud. Amen."

McMaster and state leaders are asking people to stay safe as Florence moves through the state over the weekend. He's asking people to leave their coast.

Related story: Governor Urges People to Leave the Coast

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You can also review the South Carolina Emergency Management Division's checklist for preparation. Again, no need to panic and run out and buy things at the grocery store. But it's just good to go ahead and look at it. There are a ton of good resources there.