Churches come together for National Day of Prayer
Participants pray during the ninth annual Imperial County National Day of Prayer on Thursday at Christ Community Church in El Centro. (JOSELITO VILLERO PHOTO / May 3, 2013)
“Today is about a sense of unity and peace,” said Ahmad Darbeh, imam with the Islamic Center in El Centro, during an interfaith service at First United Methodist Church in El Centro, which expected to see a couple of hundred people attend.
At the nearby Christ Community Church, about 700 people were expected to attend the communitywide Evening Concert of Prayer on Thursday evening, said Bob Myers, pastor for the Brawley Home Fellowship at the Rio Bend Chapel.
“It’s a beautiful time when churches throughout Imperial Valley and the nation spend time praying for our country,” said Myers.
Both events opened with song and prayer.
First United Methodist Church had three speakers: Wayne Harvie, president of Jewish Community, Ahmad Darbeh, imam with the Islamic Center, and Ron Griffen, pastor of First United Methodist.
“We want to respect all faiths and their form of prayer,” said Griffen. “We want to reflect on how to make a prayerful response to violence and attacks in America.”
Sister Maria Luisa Valdez, from El Centro, said she attended National Day of Prayer at First United Methodist because all denominations are welcomed.
“We pray for peace in the world and women’s rights,” said Valdez.
As services began at Christ Community, Myers said those attending would be praying for members of the military, families, jobs and a revival in churches.
Joanne Singh, of Holtville, said she was attending the Concert of Prayer at Christ Community because the country is in great need of some good Christian principles.
“I pray for anyone with a position of authority because they are need of some good prayer,” said Singh. “I also pray for the president and the tough decisions that he has to make.”
Amado Rodriguez, retired U.S. Navy, from Brawley said he decided to attend at Christ Community because he believes as a nation that it’s important not to forget about God.
“As a country we are getting away from God,” said Rodriguez. “We are getting away from our founding fathers and their Christian principles, and that is why today is important.”
Josh Aguilar, 17, from El Centro, said he wanted to join in prayer for the nation at Christ Community because of all the chaos happening in the nation.
“We need to pray for America to be safe,” he said.
Staff Writer Alexis Rangel can be reached at email@example.com or 760-337-3440