RHINELANDER - On any given Sunday morning you can find parishioners offering prayers within their churches. But Thursday, church-goers all across the country moved outdoors to spread their prayers everywhere.
About 40 people met outside the Oneida County Courthouse in Rhinelander for the 64th annual National Day of Prayer. Pastors from five area churches, including Calvary Baptist, Headwaters Christian Youth, Grace Foursquare, Trinity Lutheran and Pine Grove Community Church led different prayers.
"Every year it seems like we grow a little more and every year more people come out because they realize the desperate situation our nation is in," local organizer Pastor Rod Ankrom said. "We desperately need to get back to God."
This year's theme was "Wake Up America", calling for people to share messages from the Bible with everyone. People who came out in Rhinelander today were proud to pray in public.
"Been involved, always been out in the public," Calvary church member Pete Lindgren said. "God called us to be his witness to the world and he called us to be involved locally, globally."
People who came out say it was nice to see some unity between the parishes.
"It does happen somewhat for special events, I wouldn't say necessarily on a daily basis, but they're starting to do better," Lindgren said.
Pastors prayed for veterans, government leaders, and families. But some added special prayers for children too, especially after what happened two weekends ago in Antigo.
"One of those is obviously education and our children are so important and, yes, what happened locally in Antigo does make a difference so we want to pray for our kids, pray for our teachers and pray for our schools," Ankrom said.
The service ended with the Lord's Prayer and singing "America the Beautiful".