FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. – Servicemen and civilians of various faiths gathered at the post’s main chapel this morning to pray for the community, the nation, its leaders and the armed forces on the National Day of Prayer, held by Chaplain (Lt . Col.) Bradley Godding, Command Chaplain of the Excellence Maneuver Support Center.
Godding delivered the keynote address for the event. He called it an opportunity for people of different religious beliefs and cultural practices to come together in “an act that unites us in a common purpose”.
“The National Day of Prayer has been a vital part of our heritage as a nation, ever since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in nation building,” did he declare.
During the 30-minute event, leaders of religious communities of Christian, Jewish and Buddhist faiths offered prayers for the nation, its elected leaders, military leaders, service members, military families, peace and community.
Chaplain (Maj.) Travis Hairston serves the initial formation Protestant community here. He helped organize this year’s event and provided the invocation, calling the solidarity of religions and their prayers “impactful”.
“We believe in the power of prayer and its effect – not only on our community, but on our nation,” he said.
Hairston said prayer connects individuals “to something outside of ourselves – something that is bigger than ourselves.”
“When we pray — and we pray to a God who listens to us, and who not only hears us, but cares about us — it helps us answer the questions of ‘why’ in life,” he said. . “When we go through a difficult period; when things don’t go our way – even through tragedy – knowing that we can speak to our creator, our God or however we want to define that entity, it reassures us that we are not alone .
Congress created a law signed by President Harry Truman in 1952, calling on the president to proclaim the first Thursday in May each year a National Day of Prayer.
In his proclamation this year, President Joe Biden called on American citizens “to give thanks, in accordance with their own religions and consciences, for our many freedoms and blessings, and I invite all believers to join me in asking God’s continued direction. , mercy and protection.
“Throughout our history, prayer has been an anchor for countless Americans seeking strength and wisdom in times of struggle, and sharing hope and gratitude in times of joy,” wrote Biden. “In public reflections on life’s many blessings and in the quiet times of life’s most difficult trials, Americans of nearly every background and faith have turned to prayer for comfort and inspiration. Prayer is a sacred right protected by freedom of speech and religious freedom enshrined in our Constitution, and it continues to lift our spirits as we face the challenges of our time.