Young and old worship together on National Day of Prayer
ALPENA — For about an hour, the front steps and lawn at city hall in Alpena was transformed into a makeshift church, as about 100 residents and religious leaders gathered together Thursday to celebrate the National Day of Prayer.
The theme of the event was “Lord, pour out your love, life, and liberty,” and featured prayers asking God to help bring people, the nation, and the world together.
Pastor Richard George, of the Free Methodist Church in Alpena, said in order for our country to unite, prayer and a trust in God are the keys.
“I really believe the Lord meant what he said when he said we should love one another, as he has loved us,” George said. “The problem is, I can’t do that on my own, and If I’m going to have to love everyone I come into contact with, I need his help. I just don’t have it in myself, and most people don’t.”
Many of the people who attended were elementary school children from All Saints Catholic School, and several teenagers, including Haven Williams and Joseph Williams, who sang popular hymns while playing their keyboard and guitar.
Haven Williams, 15, said it was an honor to play with her brother in front of so many community members, and share God’s word with her musical talent.
She said worship and prayer doesn’t have age restrictions, and she believes more people should do it and be proud to do so.
“Utilizing prayer is so important because a lot of teenagers, and even adults, they just don’t seem to step out of their comfort zone to pray or worship together,” she said. “It has meant a lot and I’m really honored that they asked us to play here. I feel really blessed.”
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May and invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation.
It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress, and signed into law by President Harry Truman.
Joan Harrek said she always tries to come to City Hall to pray on the National Day of Prayer, and was surprised to see there weren’t as many people in attendance as normal.
Harrek said prayer is something you don’t have to do before you go to sleep, or at church, but can be done anytime and anywhere.
“It is just a conversation you have with our savior,” she said. “There are no rules about when you have to do it, how long it needs to last, or where you have to be. You can pray anywhere, even for a few seconds, about anything.”