National Day of Prayer: One nation, under God
By RANDY GONZALES
Thursday marked the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer, but also the first one for Karen Wasinger.
Wasinger, Hays, didn't have to work and was able to attend the prayer gathering outside the Ellis County Courthouse for the first time.
"I just think, as a nation, we need to be in prayer for our nation and the direction it's going," Wasinger said. "I liked just believers coming together, focused on the needs of our country, and the foundations of our country."
Steve Dinkel, pastor of Liberty Foursquare Church and one of the event organizers, said it's important to come together in prayer.
"The word really talks about unity and about prayer," Dinkel said. "We forget this nation was founded on a lot of prayer and a lot of Christian principles.
"It's important we come back and reflect on those things, because we forget. We get so busy."
There were seven areas of focused prayer: government, church, military, family, education, media and business. National Day of Prayer has been observed in Ellis County since at least the early 1990s.
The theme for this year's event was based on Romans 15:6: "So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
There also was a prayer breakfast Thursday morning, brought back after a several-year absence.
"It was a great time," said Normadine Noone, chairwoman of this year's planning committee. "We had a great breakfast together, and some real awesome prayer time.
"We felt it was important to bring back the concentrated prayer breakfast."
There were approximately two dozen in attendance at the prayer breakfast, and approximately 50 people at the noon gathering at the courthouse.
"This is supported by the Ellis County Ministerial Alliance," Dinkel said. "That's a great partnership that's been formed for years.
"We have a great ministerial community here. There's always been a good, strong gathering of us."
Several churches participated Thursday.
"It's a good thing," Dinkel said. "It speaks well of our community because you forget, all believers will be in heaven together, so let's get along here. Let's focus on what we agree on. We all agree on Jesus Christ."
Churches coming together is the way it should be, Wasinger said.
"We're all serving the same God," she said.