Steamboat Springs Many residents of Steamboat Springs will take a moment Thursday to participate in a nation-wide prayer at noon on the courthouse lawn in the observance of the National Day of Prayer.
"Prayer changes us on the inside. When we pray out loud together we can have change within the community," said Peggy Mulvihill, youth minister at Holy Name Catholic Church.
"It lets everyone stop and listen."
Ministers from the community will lead the prayer session and community members will have the chance to say their prayers out loud or in silence.
The prayer service is open to all ages and denominations.
Mulvihill said people are encouraged to pray any way that feels comfortable to them.
She said the public prayer gives people an understanding of issues facing people everywhere.
Personally, she said she likes to extend her prayers to the world because of ongoing war in many countries.
"(We) have brothers and sisters and families on both sides of the enemy lines. We have to remember all the people who are suffering," she said.
The observance of the National Day of Prayer perhaps has added significance this year.
"The American psyche was rocked by the horrific evil perpetuated on September 11 and many have sought meaning, security and spiritual comfort in its wake," said Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
"Now more than ever, it's imperative to pray for our leaders," said Dobson.
"We're hoping the first Thursday in May will be a date when many recommit to regularly beseeching God to provide protection, peace and direction for our country, our president and all those who must make crucial decisions."
Dr. Lloyd Ogilvie, Chaplain of the United States Senate, has written a "Prayer for America" to be read to the nation.
Mulvihill said prayer is a beginning step to reflecting on the sacredness of life, and the insight gained from prayer can be used to reach out and help people within the community.
For example, Mulvihill, who works with local high schoolers, said she and other members of the church will pray for local students, since they are faced with many choices and situations that unltimately might drastically change their lives.
The National Day of Prayer gives people a time to start to think about how they can help the people around them.
"The day gives people another opportunity to get together and gives them hope," said Mulvihill.
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