Aiken community gathers together on National Day of Prayer
May 5—Homelessness, war and overall prayer for the community were on the hearts and minds of local residents as they gathered for the National Day of Prayer.
A group of about 50 or so people came together Thursday at the corner of Hayne Avenue and Laurens Street around noon to pray for children in school, people in Ukraine, war, those in the military and veterans coming home from war, on special day dedicated to prayer.
Others also prayed for local and state leaders such as Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster and members of Congress.
National Day of Prayer has been observed since 1983 and is held on the first Thursday in May. The first National Day of Prayer to be held in Aiken was in 1981, under the leadership of the late Fred Cavanaugh, who served as mayor of Aiken for 24 years.
Barb Rollins, a member of the Aiken National Day of Prayer Committee, said there were two services planned Thursday, with the evening service being held at the Lessie B. Price Aiken Senior and Youth Center.
The Rev. Paul Bush with Mount Zion Baptist Church said people should be asking city and county leaders as well as other pastors to lead people in prayer.
"We all have busy schedules, but for one day out of the year... the world is going to see how it comes together," Bush said. "I believe it's up to God's children to show that way."
Evangelist Elaine Jackson prayed for the community and said she was not ashamed to show her praise for the Lord.
"I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe what God has told me," Jackson said.
Local pastor Jim Bigl said the National Day of Prayer is a day for believers of Christ to come together and celebrate him through prayer and praise.
Aiken resident William Griswold said people should prayer all the time and every day.
"National Day of Prayer, to me, is everyday. But we come out on the National Day of Prayer to show people that God's people are still together and are still supporting the word of God and we want others to join along," Griswold said.
Griswold prayed for children in the schools.
"Prayer changes things, and it keeps you connected with Christ," he said.
Judy Floyd said she is glad the city of Aiken is willing to come together for prayer.
"It is the unity that God uses to build his kingdom," Floyd said. "We are just happy to be here, privileged to be here and great to abide in a city that loves the Lord."