The choir sings during the 57th annual National Day of Prayer. The event was held at the Life Way Baptist Church. The evening Community Prayer Gathering was presented by the SPIRIT of Santa Paula. (Photo by Susan Branham)

57th annual National Day of Prayer in Santa Paula

May 21, 2008
Santa Paula News
By Susan Branham Santa Paula TimesSanta Paula joined the rest of the nation in observing the 57th annual National Day of Prayer in May. The evening Community Prayer Gathering was presented by the SPIRIT of Santa Paula at Life Way Baptist Church. Life Way Pastor Bob Walpole welcomed participants from churches throughout Santa Paula for this year’s service, themed “Prayer! America’s Strength and Shield.”“We’re delighted that you’re here,” he told the assembled crowd. “If ever Christians need to get together to pray, it is now. During times like this we need an anchor, a rock.” He told the congregation of the long tradition of the National Day of Prayer. A National Day of Prayer was finally made official by an Act of Congress in 1952, he explained.Pastor Mike Harris of West Coast Fellowship prayed for current individuals serving in government, asking for God’s wisdom and blessing on their behalf. “We thank you for the leaders of this great country,” he said.Pastors and lay persons delivered prayers for various organizations and individuals. Father Charles Lueras of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church lead the prayers for family. “We’ve gotten together as members of the human family, and members of the divine family.” he observed. “The family is where prayer begins.”Frank Osuna of Mercer-Prieto VFW Post 2043 prayed for those serving in the military. “We pray to honor the men and women who have served our country,” he said. “We pray for those missing in action. We pray for those serving in the armed forces, protect them from harm’s way.”
The City of Santa Paula has done a great service by displaying the banners honoring our men and women in the military,” he told the assembly.Howard Bolton of SPIRIT of Santa Paula offered prayers for prisoners and prison ministry programs. “We as individuals are our brothers’ keepers,” he said. “I’m proud and humble to be one of the people who visit in our county’s jails.”Pastor Lupita Alonso of El Buen Pastor Methodist Church prayed for unity and reconciliation of our city. “Teach us to see each other with your eyes of mercy and compassion,” she prayed.

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