National Day of Prayer ceremony set for May 4 at City Hall Gazebo

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From left, Donna Bahler, Dave Forbes and Ellie Timberman, organizers of the National Day of Prayer in Carmel, plan arrangements for the May 4 event. (Submitted photo)

By Renee Larr

The City of Carmel will once again observe the National Day of Prayer. The gathering will take place at the City Hall Gazebo from noon to 1 p.m. May 4, weather-permitting. If it rains, the event will move inside to the Council Chambers.

“Days of prayer have taken place in America since really our earliest years as a nation, but it was signed into law by President Reagan to occur on the first Thursday of May. Before that it was up to the president to designate a time for it,” said Donna Bahler, communications coordinator for Carmel National Day of Prayer.

The city has observed the tradition for the last 25 years. Former Carmel Mayor Jane Ryman created the interactive approach to prayer at the event.

“She had a real desire that people wouldn’t just come and hear about prayer, but they would come and actually do it,” Bahler said. “Those who are willing will be given a small card. It might have an item for prayer on it, a verse or a quote that relates to prayer for the nation, or a prayer for our officials. The individual can simply read it aloud or they can add a personal comment or prayer. Or, they can just pray silently and pass to the next person.”

This year’s theme is from Daniel 9:19, which says, “O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act for Your sake, O my God.”

“It’s an acknowledgement of our need for humility before God. It’s about our need for God to be involved in what is occurring in our nation and what we would love to see occur in our nation in terms of being strong, courageous, wise and doing the right thing,” Bahler said.

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