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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • For the love of God

  • Through their shouts of “Amen,” their hand waves and loud applauses for the Lord, they prayed with great passion.
    It was the National Day of Prayer Thursday and the 50 patrons at Fifth Street Baptist Church made it clear they turn to the power of prayer for all and for their country.
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  • Through their shouts of "Amen," their hand waves and loud applauses for the Lord, they prayed with great passion.
    It was the National Day of Prayer Thursday and the 50 patrons at Fifth Street Baptist Church made it clear they turn to the power of prayer for all and for their country.
    "The turn out was wonderful, I was so happy about that," Dixie Forte, the coordinator of Hannibal's National Day of Prayer, said. "I thought it really turned out good. They took a bus to the school and got those kids out of school and brought them out."
    Forte was very pleased at the youth presence at the celebration. She noted there hasn't been much of a youth crowd over the years.
    "I was really blessed. The Lord kind of put it in my heart to have the youth do this, because they had never done it," Forte said. "We had doctors and nurses and pastors and preachers and teachers and everything, but we've never had the youth be involved."
    Youngsters and teens made up about half of the attendance.
    Speakers included an array of religious leaders from the area. Also speaking and giving a proclamation was Hannibal Mayor Roy Hark.
    "We should turn to the Lord every day ... to do our best to serve him," Hark said. "The world needs prayer."
    Commander Ronn Pashia was also at the celebration. His emphasis and passion for prayer were hard to miss as his praise echoed off the historic church walls.
    "It's precious to me because I was taught by a father that showed more by example than just talking it. A lot of fathers talk, but talk's cheap. When you lead by example, when you show your children at home, the teachers don't have to do it," he said. "My mother and father — everybody when I got up, I'm 69 years old — when I got up my dad was on his knees praying. When I went to bed at night, my dad was on his knees praying. Had a pillow right beside the bed and I saw the imprints of both of those knees. My mother prayed the rosary every day. I saw the dedication that was in their hearts."
    Several scriptures and prayers were read by many of the patrons in attendance and those who made special trips in just to read and speak to the crowd. To complete the day, everyone lined the sidewalk outside the church with American flags and sang God Bless America concluding another year dedicating a day to national prayer.
    "We've always done it," Vivian Hawkins said. "We're praying for our nation because it's a world day of prayer."
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