ARLINGTON -- For the Rev. Dennis Wiles, it used to be easy to blame the media for everything.
Wiles, pastor of First Baptist Church of Arlington, gained a new perspective after he interacted with several reporters in the days after the slaying of the Rev. Clint Dobson in March.
Dobson was in his first year as pastor of NorthPointe Baptist, a satellite church of First Baptist. He was suffocated and his assistant, Judy Elliott, was badly beaten.
"In the past, the media has been an easy target for me. There's a tendency to blame them for the things that are wrong with the world," Wiles said Thursday during a National Day of Prayer event attended by about 60 people in front of the Arlington Central Library. "But now I know that when you and I want to ignore something, they can't because it's their job to be there."
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Then he offered a prayer that God help journalists "to somehow, in the midst of bad news, to share good news."
The hourlong program marked the 60th annual observance of the day of prayer. Similar events were scheduled for downtown Fort Worth, Southlake Town Square and the Trophy Club Clock Tower.
Congress established the day of prayer in 1952. President Barack Obama issued the proclamation for this year's observance last week, calling on Americans to "pray for the men and women of our armed forces and the many selfless sacrifices they and their families make on behalf of our nation."
In Arlington, no direct mention was made of Osama bin Laden's death. But the Rev. Michael Glaspie, education minister at Mount Olive Baptist Church, offered a prayer of thanks for the work of the U.S. military.
"We had a chance to see how precise and professional they are recently," he said.
He also thanked local law enforcement agencies for the job they do. Slain Arlington police officer Jillian Smith attended Mount Olive. The sacrifices of troops and police officers are not in vain, he said. "We're safer because of them."
And as the May 14 municipal elections loom, Pastor Tom Schlueter of Prince of Peace Church urged those in attendance to not just "speak blessings" over city leaders but to go to the polls and elect "righteous leaders."
"We pray that the most important thing to them would be that moment each day when they fall to their knees and ask what it is that you would have them do," he said.
Patrick M. Walker,