The faithful pray during the 61st annual National Day of Prayer held on the courthouse lawn, Thursday. Mark Wilson Photo
People of various backgrounds and doctrines gathered at the steps of Chaves County Courthouse to join in prayer over local, national and global areas of concern, Thursday, observing the 61st annual National Day of Prayer.
Local pastors and civic leaders led prayers on a number of topics, including government, military, the judicial system, law enforcement, emergency medical services, education and family.
Members of Grace Community Church provided music at the ceremony. Youth Ministry Associate Michelle Hartman, who played the guitar, said her favorite part of Roswell’s National Day of Prayer is how it unites the community.
“I think it’s really cool to just to get together, and it shows that we’re not disjoined members of the body of Christ,” Hartman said. “We’re all together as one on this day in prayer, so denominations and things like that don’t really matter. There’s nothing separating us today.”
Rebecca Chavez, who led the prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, commented, “It’s a really important day, especially right now in this election year. I think the only way that our nation can prosper and survive is through beseeching the one who is higher above us, and the one who is the authority over all nations. It’s really critical to me.”
“We feel that all denominations, and all Christians make up the whole body of Christ, and the Bible says there is power in agreement,” Chavez said. “So when we’re all together, I think there’s really a special unity and that God hears our heart cry even more because of that.”
The Rev. Mark Green, who led a prayer for repentance and blessings, said he believes it is important for citizens to pray for their leaders.
“When we’re told to pray in the Bible, one of the first things we’re told to pray for (is) our leaders and those in authority,” Green said. “So it’s (important) to pray for those who are over us, and that would be our government officials.
“So having a national day like this wakes us up, and reminds us we need to pray.”
Roswell resident Maureen McGinn said she has been attending the National Day of Prayer in Roswell for about 20 years, and will continue to do so for as long as she can.
“Israel as a nation used to pray as a nation to God. Then when people came out here in covered wagons, they knelt down coming through Comanche territory as a group, and prayed and asked for God’s wisdom, guidance and protection,” she said. “So, personally, I’m glad we’re still able to do this, and for as long as these doors are open, I’ll be here to be praying for the same things.”