Steamboat Springs Prayers went up from Steamboat Springs and across the country Thursday as people of faith marked the National Day of Prayer.
The group in Steamboat had planned to pray at noon in front of the old Routt County Courthouse downtown, but snowfall threw a wrench into that. The group reconvened inside the sanctuary at Holy Name Catholic Church on Oak Street.
Euzoa Bible Church's senior pastor, Jack Elwood, led the prayer day. He read declarations from President Bush and Gov. Bill Ritter about the event, which was established in 1952.
"We do that not to be authorized by politicians to pray, but because that's what we do as people of faith," Elwood said. "We gather as these types of people who believe God has a hand in this sovereign nation."
Children from Holy Name Preschool began the event with a rendition of "What a Wonderful World."
Representatives from various Christian groups and congregations led the prayers, which focused on government, the military, churches, righteousness, children, Steamboat and the future. About 30 people attended the event, which ended with the group singing "God Bless America."
Several participants wore "I prayed" stickers.
Kathy Whaley, who attends Anchor Way Baptist Church, participated in Thursday's prayer event.
"It's just a prayer that the community and the country would see the light and follow God," Whaley said. She was chatting with Marie Matta, who attends Holy Name.
Matta said she was happy to see the churches come together. The prayer service was open to all faiths, not just Christians.
"In the end, we're praying for the same things," Matta said.
Charlie Parnell, administrative pastor at Euzoa Bible Church, said he led a breakfast event at Old Town Pub for local officials. On the National Day of Prayer, it's important to relate faith back to the government, he said.
"It restates that we can worship freely," Parnell said. "It underscores that this nation was founded under God."
Elwood said the day helps people look at the big picture.
"I think it transcends : their church to pray for their country," he said. "I think it tends to get us out of our criticism to a more redemptive" view.
Although Elwood mentioned the importance of this pivotal election year, Parnell said the faithful should always be praying.
"Every year is just as important," he said. "There are just different issues we have to bathe in prayer."
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