At least 200 people gathered in downtown Springfield on Thursday for the Clark County National Day of Prayer annual breakfast.
The breakfast included prayers for the government, businesses, media, military, families, churches, schools and health care.
Lt. Col. Bernard Willis of the Springfield Air National Guard Base was the speaker.
“The (theme) was really ‘wake up America.’ But the message that I felt like we needed to today was that we are the ones who are going to be the leadership that wakes up America and gets us out of the place where we are right now,” Willis said.
“Not a political statement or anything else. But it is a matter of fact that our nation really needs a change,” Willis said.
Another gathering was held at noon on the Springfield City Hall Plaza.
Dr. Tony Evans, the 2016 honorary chairman, wrote a prayer that was simultaneously read at City Hall and throughout the nation at a noon.
“This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us,” National Day of Prayer officials said.
The National Day of Prayer is observed on the first Thursday in May each year.
Carol Godin, Clark County coordinator for the National Day of Prayer, said the day gives believers a chance to pray for the nation and pray in public buildings.
“We’re so thankful for that because we know that nothing operates well unless we pray, so we believe in it for our country,” Godin said.
National Day of Prayer officials say it is a crucial time for our nation, and there’s nothing more important praying.
“A nation who forgets God is destined to fall, and we in the United States do not want to fall. Even though we know the enemy is trying to destroy many parts of our country that we hold dear we continue to pray because we know that God is faithful to answer prayer,” Godin said.
Willis said the nation needs to
get to a place where people can have a discussion about disagreements and get a better understanding of different beliefs.
“I am the eternal optimist that our nation is going to go in the right direction all the time,” Willis said.