Church, business, government and community members gathered in the Killeen City Council chambers at noon Thursday to pray for local and national leaders and give thanks to God on the 62nd National Day of Prayer.
“Praying for our nation and government is a good thing because we need it,” said Peggy Butry of Killeen. “I enjoyed it and it was very powerful.”
The National Day of Prayer, enacted by Congress in 1952 and signed into law by President Harry Truman, is observed annually on the first Thursday in May. Dan Galanffy, pastor of Praise Fellowship, and other local church leaders spent weeks organizing National Day of Prayer events in the Killeen area. He said it was especially important to pray at city hall.
“Government is one of the areas we target with our prayers,” he said. “The noon event is to specifically lift up our mayor, our city, the community and the voters, since this place is the seed of power for Killeen.”
Killeen Mayor Daniel A. Corbin signed a proclamation at the beginning of the service naming May 2 as the local celebration of the National Day of Prayer.
“The city of Killeen can certainly use your prayers, and we ask the Lord to provide inspiration to members of the city council as we deliberate on important issues,” he said. “We realize that truly life-altering, world-changing prayer cannot happen in a single day but we believe a commitment to daily prayer could make change.”
Pastor George Chinea of Cristo la Fortaleza prayed for broken families, and Brenda Smith, parent liaison coordinator with the Killeen school district, prayed about the importance of families in homes and schools.
“For our educators, we ask that you endow them with the innate ability to know what strategy and tools to utilize to open the keys of the different learning styles of the many students that we serve” she said.
At Fort Hood Thursday, soldiers and family members were invited to pray at their own convenience during the lunch hour at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel. Seven rooms were designated for people to pray on seven subjects emphasized nationwide.
“I’m a firm believer that our prayers change things,” said William C. Shelnutt IX, director of religious education at Fort Hood’s Spiritual Fitness Center and event coordinator.
Killeen Daily Herald Military Editor Rose L. Thayer contributed to this report.