Area residents gather to pray for community, nation in National Day of Prayer

Published 6:12 am Friday, May 5, 2023

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Loren Molskness, retired pastor at Assembly of God Church, led a National Day of Prayer event at First Presbyterian Church Thursday evening.

This was Molskness’ first time coordinating the event.

National Day of Prayer started in 1988 after President Ronald Reagan and congress amended a motion made by Harry Truman back in 1955, who believed there should be a day for prayer every year. National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday of May every year.

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Molkness said the country needed prayer.

“I suppose we as churches maybe are very much against a lot of the things which are being legislated in recent years,” he said.

Charles Teixeira, pastor at First Presbyterian Church, had participated in National Day of Prayer previously in Texas, adding that he was “terrified” when he led the gathering of roughly 5,000 people.

He decided to host it after Molskness reached out to him roughly 1 ½ months ago.

“I think these types of events really help to dismiss all the things that might divide outside these walls and remind us we hold Christ as our common foundation,” he said.

He talked about effectual prayer, in essence praying with expectancy and believing and trusting in God to hear and answer in his way.

Prayers were divided up between leaders at different churches in the area.

Mirillah Weitzel of Assembly of God started the prayer portion with her prayer for marriages, families and homes.

“Lord, I ask wholeheartedly that you watch over the parents that are struggling, the children that are struggling, the ones that do not have a hope,” she said. “That they will find a hope in you, in Christ Jesus.

Following her was Kelli Kunkel, administrative support staff at Hope Church. She prayed for the church and pastoral leadership.

“Lord Jesus, I just thank you for your church,” she said. “Lord, I thank you that you have called and that you have set us on a mission.”

Clayton Balsley, pastor at Bridge Community Church, led a prayer for students.

“We humbly come before you tonight asking that you would pour out your wisdom and your knowledge in the education system in this nation,” he said. “Father God, we know that it’s very complex.”

David Peterson of Bridge Community Church prayed for businesses and vocations.

“Lord, we need your wisdom to run our companies your way,” he said. “Help us understand that your wisdom begins with a reverent respectful fear of you and your holiness.”

Kent Otterman, pastor at Round Prairie Lutheran and Faith Lutheran Church, led a prayer for local, state and national governments.

“We thank you, because [government] was … largely founded upon your truth, your word, your principals, O God,” he said. “We praise you for that.”

Ryan Quigley, pastor at Assembly of God, prayed for military, law enforcement, first responders and medical workers.

“Lord, that you would watch over them and that you would protect them,” he said. “That you would protect their physical lives, that you would protect their emotional and mental lives. That you would be a shield about them as they lay their lives down for this place.”

Patrick Bird, associate pastor at Assembly of God Church, prayed for media, arts and entertainment.

“I pray a strong conviction of the Holy Spirit, work through spirit repentance in the media, for the entertainment industry, arts industry,” he said.

Kaleb Hurley, pastor at Hope Church, closed the event out by leading a prayer for people who did know believe in Jesus Christ.

“We pray for a harvest of the lost in our community,” he said. “We pray for hundreds and thousands to be saved in this region. We pray for a holy outpouring of the Holy Ghost in the cross.”

“I think all of us who are involved pretty much believed in the inerrancy of the scriptures,” Molskness said. “It ended up that those churches wanted to participate in this, and they believe in a born-again experience to become a Christian.”

He also said these events have had an impact in the community.

Terry Brandt decided to attend because he felt it was important to pray for the country and pray for people in need of healing.

Dave Sanderson said he thought attending National Day of Prayer was the least people could do to lift up the country.

“It’s always awesome to see all the community churches come together with a single purpose in mind, and that’s to approach the Lord with prayer for his blessing on our country, our community,” he said.

Wayne Prudoehl attended for personal knowledge, specifically to be better able to distinguish “right from wrong.”

“Very beneficial,” he said, referring to the event.

Prudoehl also encouraged people to educate themselves by reading the Bible.

“Don’t base it on what you hear about it,” he said.

Molskness served at Assembly of God Church from 1984 to ’94.