Keely Powers, Joe Murphy and Kati Dutcher bow their heads in prayer during a National Day of Prayer event at the Legislative Affairs Building in Kenai Thursday afternoon.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The sacred and the secular met in Kenai for the annual National Day of Prayer, held at the Legislative Affairs Building on Main Street Loop on Thursday.
"Prayer is universal part of human begins," said Pastor Alan Humphries of the Soldotna Bible Church of God.
"Not everyone goes to church or believes in God, but everyone prays," he added.
Humphries gave the welcome to the small, but devoted crowd that gathered, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance given by the students of Cook Inlet Academy and their principal, Kevin Spence. Barbara Ruckman sang the national anthem.
Kenai Mayor Pat Porter read a proclamation declaring May 5 as a National Day of Prayer in the city of Kenai to, as stated in the document, "encourage all residents to observe this day in ways appropriate to its importance and significance."
Porter said she was happy with her role at the event.
"I basically wanted to be a part of it because I'm proud of my own faith," she said.
"It's also a way to reach out to other people," she added.
Elder Lorrel Ludy of the Family Church of God read a national prayer written by Max Lucado in which he prayed that God "Grant strength to all our leaders. May they serve you first and honor you most."
Pastor Van Wonser of Kenai Bible Church led a prayer for federal leaders, including President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and a litany of other politically appointed leaders, as well as all branches of the Armed Forces.
Pastor Rick Cupp of the Kenai Fellowship led a prayer for state and local leaders, including Alaska's senators, governor, lieutenant governor, Congress members, all members of the Legislature and courts, the borough and city mayors, all the police and fire departments and school authoritative bodies.
The event closed with a group prayer and the crowd singing "God Bless America."
Barb Johnson, a member of the task force for the National Day of Prayer and the Kenai event's primary organizer, expressed why she believes prayer is important in this day and age.
"It's important because without God we can't succeed, and this is a way to acknowledge that and to ask him to continue to lead and guide us," she said.
Humphries said he thought the event was well received by those who attended.
"A lot of people were at work and couldn't be here, but overall I think it was a good turnout," he said.
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