LIMA — It has been a national institution for decades, designated in 1988 to be held the first Thursday in May. On Thursday, the National Day of Prayer was observed once again in Lima, this time with two events.
The first event took place at the UNOH Event Center, with the Allen County Community Observance of the National Day of Prayer. Now in its 25th year, the event not only brought hundreds of Christians together, along with area pastors and community leaders, but it also had a broader reach, with the event being simulcast on WTGN radio and WTLW television.
“We like to invite a group of pastors and community leaders to celebrate our freedom to pray and freedom to assemble,” Allen County Day of Prayer coordinator Theresa Lee said. “They pray on various topics concerning our land.”
Over a dozen churches were represented at the event, with prayers offered up on a variety of topics, including national and local leaders, business, first responders and for national spiritual awakening.
“We know on a personal level that God hears and answers prayers,” Lee said. “He invites us in the Scriptures, and we know that it’s important that we get God’s intervention, wisdom and strategic ideas into the hands and minds of those who serve us.”
Rebecca Kreher, Lima’s 4th Ward Council representative, participated in the event, describing it as a humbling experience.
“It was a great experience to be among people who love the city as much as I do,” she said. “Prayer calms us in the midst of the storm, and in times of crisis, considering all the shootings, especially in our community, those situations always demand prayer.”
A second prayer meeting was held Thursday evening at Veterans Memorial Civic Center, this time bringing together people of multiple faith backgrounds, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Unitarians. For Rev. Mark Rich of Market Street Presbyterian Church, the event was a natural outgrowth of his faith.
“For me as a Christian, this is part of fulfilling Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself,” he said. “One of the extraordinary things about Lima is that these neighbors include people of a bunch of religions. They’re all members with us of God’s world, this nation and this community.”
Other National Day of Prayer services were held in Bluffton and Ottawa.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.