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Santa Clarita churches pray together

Congregations band together to pray on personal, local and national levels to celebrate National Day

Posted: May 8, 2009 9:37 p.m.
Updated: May 9, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Julie Kliewer prays during the National Day of Prayer event at The Church on the Way Santa Clarita on Thursday.

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More than 30 churches from the Santa Clarita Valley united to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday night.

More than 100 worshipers from different congregations met at The Church On The Way to pray together as a community.

As locals walked into the auditorium, a band consisting of members from different churches opened the evening with, "Lord I Lift Your Name On High."

"We didn't want it to be a one-church thing," said Brian Bauer, assistant pastor from The Church On The Way. "But a whole community thing coming together as a sign of unity."

As a result, the event was organized by a group of local pastors, said Gary Howse, associate pastor from The Church On The Way.

After sending out an e-mail to local churches surveying who would be interested in organizing the event, the pastors spent the last three months planning the evening and coordinating it.

The night was dedicated to pray on three levels: personal, local and national.

"Lets start with us," said Marty Walker, pastor from The Sanctuary. "I'd like to call us to repentance tonight."

Before praying for others, Walker asked everyone to evaluate themselves and the way they live their lives.

"We lack a lot," he said about people in general. "We lack self-awareness, compassion, faith. We lack in purity and courage."

Les Robinson, pastor of Burning Bush Church, continued with praying for revival and salvation.

"It's wonderful to pray together, isn't it?" he asked in which most of the audience responded, "Amen" and "Yes it is."

Robinson lead the prayer for the salvation of others.

"Let's pray for people who haven't accepted Jesus," he said. "He loves you. He died for you. My friend, give your life to Christ. His vision for you is greater than what you have envisioned for yourself."

Mike Scott, pastor of Living Grace Christian Fellowship, lead the local prayer which focused on churches, pastors, congregations, schools, teachers, administrators, children, law enforcement, emergency personnel and city officials.

Before he began, Scott asked for anyone involved in churches to stand up and get recognized while he lead the prayer.

Gretchen Pressman, a first-grade teacher at Rio Vista Elementary, lead the prayer for those involved in education.

"Let us pray for a fresh revival of joy for the calling they answered," she said. "Let us pray for their homes, security, strength and stability."

Kyle Payne, a home-schooled senior from Stevenson Ranch, lead the prayer for the youth and children of the Santa Clarita Valley.

Matthew Brayman lead the prayer for those who serve the community as police officers, firefighters and other emergency personnel.

Scott continued with a focus on Santa Clarita city officials.

"Thank you for the city that we live in," he said. "Thank you for placing those in positions of authority."

John Boone introduced praying for the state and federal government leaders, the economic state of the nation and those in the military serving around the world. He then instructed the room to get into groups of three or four people and pray together.

The room filled with soft whispers as the band provided soft background music. Groups of families, friends and strangers embraced and prayed together.

Donations made during the offering went to the Santa Clarita Valley Crisis Pregnancy Center.

Howse said praying is important because, he said, "We realize we can't do everything and that we are dependent on God."

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