The 57th Annual National Day of Prayer was Thursday, May 1, with a local observance held outside the Richmond Hill at the Courthouse Annex.
The theme for this year was "Prayer! America’s Strength and Shield."
Local church officials who led the observance included New Beginnings Pastor Steve Lane, St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Father Clark Hubbard, Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church Pastor Gary Soop, St. Anne’s Catholic Church Father Joe Smith and Corinth Baptist Church Pastor Gary Quinney. They each read faith passages and prayed with a small crowd of community members who joined them.
Local officials Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed and Mayor Richard Davis also attended.
"Prayer has been important in my life as long as I can remember," Burnsed said. "As I became an adult, I found the value of prayer…today, in county government, I need it now more than ever."
Burnsed said today’s world is much different than the one he and Davis grew up in. While America is still considered a "Christian nation," it’s just not the same anymore, he said.
"Something has happened to change the values of America and we need to call on the Lord," he said.
Davis said he’s found out just how important prayer is during his time as mayor, noting he always prays for his adversaries.
"Prayer is very important," he said. "It’s what I depend on. If you don’t have something to fall back on when you go home at night, you must know you have God with you."
Davis then read the lyrics to Josh Turner’s country song "Me and God."
Lane said he would’ve liked to have gotten more people involved, but felt the event had not been publicized enough. Next year, he said the observance will be at City Hall.
Here’s an excerpt from Governor Sonny Perdue’s proclamation for National Prayer Day in Georgia:
"As our nation is involved in an ongoing conflict in Iraq and in the global war against terrorism, we pray for God’s blessing upon our military troops, here and abroad, praying for protection, wisdom and divine guidance as they serve our nation. We furthermore ask that He bless the Iraqi people with peace and wisdom as they continue to journey towards democracy," the proclamation said. "We pray for our heroes here at home who risk their lives every day to protect us, including police officers and firefighters, and ask that He watch over them as they watch over us…We remember and mourn for all Americans lost whose mission was to protect us here at home or to free the helpless abroad."