The rain that poured down Thursday afternoon didn't dampen the spirits of residents involved in the National Day of Prayer. Instead, they offered up prayers of hope.
The group that gathered in the auditorium of Farley Street Baptist Church joined thousands across the nation who are all seeking God to grant wisdom, guidance, and discernment to those in places of leadership.
The National Day of Prayer started in 1775 when the Continental Congress made a call for prayer. Members of Congress sought wisdom in the founding of a new nation.
Following the custom, President Lincoln proclaimed reverence to the day in 1863, with President Truman affirming a joint resolution of an annual day of prayer in 1952.
Thirty-six years later in 1988, President Reagan permanently amended the law for the first Thursday of every May and urged all Americans to exercise prayer.
During the service, community leaders prayed for the government, the military, first responders, the media, businesses, educators, the church, and for families.
Judge Joe Grubbs, of the 378th Judicial District Court, prayed for those in government on the local, state, and national levels. He asked God to give leaders the courage to stand up for what is right and to put others before themselves.
“We ask you will grant these men and women of leadership wisdom, integrity, vision, and empathy,” Grubbs prayed. “Be with them in their decisions that will be the benefit for us the governed and not for themselves.”
Grubbs asked to make the courts a forum where the laws are followed, and all are people justly and fairly treated.
Lieutenant Colonel Driller Fiegel, United States Air Force Retired, asked God in his prayer to let military members and first responders know the community values them.
“Father, create a new awareness here in our country, especially here in Waxahachie and Ellis County, that you would open our eyes and hearts to appreciate these men and women to support them, to pray for them and to love them,” Fiegel beseeched. "Keep them safe, protect them physically, protect them spiritually, guard their families, guard their homes, and guard their hearts.”
Paul Gauntt, Pastor of First Baptist Church of Palmer and former Daily Light reporter, prayed for members of the media as they go about their job reporting the news.
“Father I come to you this afternoon praying that Christian influence would permeate the media," Gauntt prayed. "I pray that the United States of America can be assured every evening when people turn on the news, look at the internet, listen to the radio, or read the printed page that they can always be assured of the unadulterated facts of the news."
Jon McLaughlin, YMCA Branch Executive Director, prayed for the business community. McLaughlin prayed for business owners to have the desire to serve others.
“Guide those in leadership over businesses and places of commerce in the city to see a greater need beyond of their reach,” McLaughlin said. “Take what blessing you have placed upon them to take that and not be greedy with our desires but charitable for your eternal cause. Help us to be eternally focused.”
Dr. Jeremy Glenn, Superintendent of Waxahachie ISD, prayed for education. In his prayer, Glenn asked God to give teachers the right mindset as they do their job daily.
“Lord, we pray for the unity of all educators. Season their words with your patience, kindness, and goodness," Glenn prayed. "Fill their minds with your faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control."
Glenn asked for teachers to be given patience and provide encouragement to others.
Adrian Cooper, Pastor of Waxahachie Life Church, prayed that unity brought to the church.
“I believe that heaven will be made up of all nations and people groups. Teach us to come tighter and love,” Cooper expressed. “Teach us to understand that there are only one doctrine and one God who is sovereign who loves all of humanity.”
Jason Curry, Texas Baptist Home for Children President, prayed to bring families together and to strengthen them.
“God, let the strength of homes be ever present in our country. I know that each family holds a special place in your heart,” Curry said. “You alone can give hope to a family again as many seem to be facing the end of destruction.”
Curry asked God to give strength to parents and children and to build them up into leaders.