by Mitchell Kirk Staff reporter
---- — About 70 people turned out on the uncharacteristically brisk beginning of May Thursday for the local celebration of the National Day of Prayer.
Attendees gathered outside the Cass County Government Building, where they heard from local pastors and reverends and Logansport Mayor Ted Franklin. Together the group sang songs and engaged in prayers for repentance, leaders, the military, churches, pastors, families and youth.
Melvin Price, coordinator of the Cass County Task Force for the National Day of Prayer, said the county has been participating in the event for about the past 20 years.
Price said the event is important because it “reiterates something we should be doing all the time in our daily lives.”
After national days of prayer were called for intermittently since 1775, a joint resolution of the U.S. Congress signed into law by President Harry Truman established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event in 1952, according to the event’s website. It was founded on the constitutional rights of freedom of speech and freedom of religion and can be celebrated by all Americans of all religions. The website goes on to state tens of thousands of events are held across the country each year for the National Day of Prayer, including a gathering in Washington, D.C., where the three branches of the government and the military are represented.
The Rev. Scott Halterman of New Life Alliance Church in Logansport told attendees during his message that followers of Christ are ministers of the gospel with a responsibility to pray.
He went on to speak of a healthy fear of God. He said this fear is not a fear that stems from the idea that God will harm people, but a “fear of respect, of reverence, of awe of just who he is.”
Halterman closed by encouraging those in attendance to get excited about Christ. He asked why, if people can get excited about events like baseball games, they can’t also get excited about their religion.
“We should be excited about the god that we serve,” he said.
Janet Thomson said she attended the event because she is a Christian and feels the country has moved away from God.
“We believe God is in control,” she said. “Hopefully our prayers will be awarded and this country will turn back to God.”
Elizabeth Bigger joked it certainly wasn’t the weather that inspired her to attend Thursday, but the important role she feels prayer plays in the country and the community. She said she is grateful for the National Day of Prayer for the way it brings like-minded citizens together and hopes it will encourage everyone who attended to let the practice extend far beyond the hours of the annual event.
“I think every day we need to pray,” she said. “It’s an important thing that we can come together as a community.”