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A day to pray

May 04, 2001

A day to pray



By MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

Sonlight Home School choirPhoto: KEVIN G. GILBERT / staff photographer

It was no small task for Cindy Hill to get her young family to Thursday's National Day of Prayer observance in downtown Hagerstown but she felt it was worth the effort.

"Practicing your faith publicly is a challenge. I wanted to do it for my children," Hill said as she pushed a double stroller. "It felt good to pray here today."

Hill was one of about 70 people who gathered in front of the Washington County Courthouse for the 50th annual observance of the event.

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Susan Freed was also in attendance, drawn by a lifelong belief in the power of prayer.

"The theme is 'One Nation Under God'," she said. "We are a Christian nation and we need to emphasize that and the power of unified prayer."

A choir of about 30 children associated with Sonlight Home School sang a chorus of "Our God Is An Awesome God."

Donna Staggers said she came to the National Day of Prayer observance mainly to hear the children sing.

"I work nearby and I heard this was happening, so I came," Staggers said.

The day is important to many people, said the Rev. Mark Mooney of St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Smithsburg.

"The National Day of prayer is not just a day for Christians to pray but for all people of faith to be in prayer for this great nation of ours," he said. "We are a nation of many different people, different cultures, different faiths."

The Rev. John Miller, pastor of Faith Christian Fellowship, led the National Day of Prayer event, as he has for several years.

"We want our hearts to melt together in prayer here today," Miller said.

He led the group in reciting The Lord's Prayer and the Rev. Billy Graham's special prayer for the national observance. Additional prayers focused on government, businesses, law enforcement, schools, health, the family, youth, church reconciliation and churches.

The event was sponsored by the Greater Hagerstown National Day of Prayer committee.

The first call to prayer was in 1775 when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation.

The U.S. Congress issued a joint resolution in 1952 declaring a National Day of Prayer.

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