The Barnesville Area Ministerial Association sponsored the local observance of the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 4 in the Barnesville Fire Department building. The 2017 theme was "Your Great Name's Sake! Hear us .. Forgive us .. Heal Us!" and the Bible passage was "O Lord, Listen! O Lord, Forgive! O Lord, Hear and Act! For Your Sake, O My God . . . ." - Daniel 9:19.

Those gathered were welcomed by 2017 President of BAMA., Rev. Samuel Monte of the First Presbyterian Church. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Bill Strous, Chaplain of the Barnesville Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2792. The Star Spangled Banner was performed by the Barnesville High School Chorus under the direction of Brianna Warner. The choir also performed "Down in the River to Pray".

Remarks and a scripture about our nation's schools were made by Barnesville Elementary School Principal Clint Abbott. Abbott said National Day of Prayer is something we should all take very seriously as Americans and as human beings, and should be important not just that day, but every day. He said as our father, God wants us, his children to talk to him on a daily basis. Abbott said God wants us to pray not just for those in need but for everyone, all of God's children, despite our differences.

Abbott said he was blessed to be in Barnesville because, "The people of the community truly care and love one another. We are all blessed to be here today because every minute we have is a blessing."

A prayer for our schools was led by Minister Jamie Helmick of the West Main Street Church of Christ. Like Abbott, Helmick said he and his wife chose Barnesville carefully and it was " special and quite a Godly community".

Barnesville Village Council President Tim McKelvey read a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Dale Bunting declaring May 4 as National Day of Prayer in Barnesville. He urged all citizens to join those across the nation in observance of National Day of Prayer.

Rev. Andy Woods, retired from the Presbyterian Church, led the prayer for our village. He read from Jeremiah 29- A letter to the Exiles. He said while he is originally from California, he considers Barnesville his home.

"I pray this village will be more and more a light to others," Woods said.

Pastor Curt Hallstrom of the First Christian Church of Morristown led the prayer for our nation. Halllstrom said America was a nation of free men and women and that we were very fortunate in America to have the freedom to worship. He said that guarantee has been paid for by those who have given their lives in service to their country. The prayer for our world was led by Reverend Ted Buehl of the First United Methodist Church and Batesville UMC.

In conclusion, Monte said those at the Barnesville observance were not isolated and National Day of Prayer creates a "beautiful rippling effect crossing this great nation and crying out to God".

Following the program, participants gathered for a free meal provided by BAMA member Emery Stewart.