LIMA — Several counties and groups came together to celebrate their own versions of National Day of Prayer, but each message echoed the theme “Love One Another.”
Theresa Lee, coordinator for the Allen County National Day of Prayer, said she thinks the national theme was selected because of the current state of the country.
“I think that right now, we seem to be clashing at proportions we haven’t seen in a long time. I would not be surprised if that’s how they chose that theme because you want to pray for what is not,” Lee said. “If you’re all living in a great love one another world, why pray for what you already have.”
The event, held at the UNOH Event Center, included speakers and prayers from over 20 different churches and organizations across the county. Prayers were held for national and local leaders, families, and even those suffering from opioid addiction and sex trafficking.
“What I’ve found is, in earlier years sometimes people were very stiff with one another because they didn’t see each other very often,” Lee said. “Everyone was concerned about their church and what they were doing, as they should be, but once you get out and mingle, you begin to see the greatness that God has put in a lot of other churches in the city.”
There were also events at the Auglaize, Putnam and Van Wert county courthouses, Wapakoneta Community Worship Center and fire department.
The Lima Interfaith Fellowship observed National Day of Prayer Thursday night with their own event. The Fellowship consists of Hinduism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Universalist Unitarian, and new this year, Bahai and Buddhism.
Maha Zehery, community outreach liaison with the Changing Seasons Outreach Program, has helped to organize the day since the group’s inception five years ago. She said the fellowship typically has around 100 people participating in their National Day of Prayer celebrations, but hopes to continue to grow.
“It’s very important because many people are afraid of the unknown so there’s lots of things and discrimination,” Zehery explained. “We pray for peace of the world and our nation and our community. It may be different languages, but when it’s all related, its all the same language.”
Jean Foy, of Lima, who attended the event at the UNOH Event Center, said if you want things to change, you must pray about it.
“That’s how the Lord is going to know who are his disciples, by the love we have for one another,” Foy said. “Not by the preaching, not by all the singing, but by the love we display toward one another. That’s how it’s going to happen.”
“We need to pray for peace, mainly now with what’s happening in the world and accept each others’ difference. At the end, we are all alike and it’s about humanism,” Zehery said. “Many people are afraid of the unknown, but once they talk with others, we find out we are all alike.”
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.