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Residents gather for Day of Prayer

The girls choir of the Park Rapids Home Schoolers, under the direction of April Hodge, sang at the event. (Submitted photo)

Christianity revolutionized the believer's relationship with government from fear to prayer - truly a game changer, said Pastor Dick Jorgensen.

Asking God on behalf of Roman Emperors, Herodian kings, and all the way down to local officials, was a huge reversal of attitudes in the first century, he notes.

Here's how the apostle Paul put it to his son in the faith, Timothy: "I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people - for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness," 1 Timothy 2.1-2 NIV.

Even when you do not like government officials, you can ask God to supply what they need, Jorgensen advises.

"The international events this last week clearly reveal this."

On May 5, Americans observed the National Day of Prayer, a tradition that predates the country itself.

During the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress declared July 20, 1775, a national day of "fasting and prayer." As the Civil War raged in 1863, Abraham Lincoln renewed the tradition, which was finally codified as an annual occurrence in 1952 by Harry Truman.

But it wasn't until 1988 that Ronald Reagan signed a law setting the first Thursday of May as the official National Day of Prayer.

Lincoln, when reinstating the day of prayer in 1863, said, "Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us."

Over 60 gathered in front of the courthouse May 5 to pray for national, state, local leaders, schools, families, and churches.

The Park Rapids Area Ministerial Association, Mark Waller, president, sponsored the one-hour prayer service.