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The 70th annual National Day of Prayer drew dozens of people to the flagpole in front of Bowman City Hall May 6 for a time to reflect, pray, and sing.

Local churches and their ministers, pastors and deacons led the ceremony, which started with a welcome by Rev. Ray Sherwood and followed by The Lord’s Prayer.

Deacon Lenny Fischer led the participants in an acoustic rendition of “Heal Our Land;” Brenda Sherwood led the Pledge of Allegiance, while Rev. Mary Wiggins followed with a prayer for the family.

There were prayers for the church (Rev. Ed Kvaale), the workplace (Rev. Charles Johnson), education (Rev. Renee Johnson), military (Fr. Paul Eberle), government (Rev. Seth Springer), for art, media and entertainment (Rev. David Werner), and music (Deacon Fischer).

Rev. Sherwood led the closing prayer.

The National Day of Prayer was started in 1952 and is held on the first Thursday in May, according to the U.S. Congress. People are asked to “turn to God in prayer and meditation,” with the president required by law to sign a proclamation each year that encourages Americans to pray.

In 1952, then-President Harry S. Truman signed a joint resolution to establish the National Day of Prayer. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan approved an amendment that set the annual observance to take place on the first Thursday in May.

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