Some came to pray for health, others for peace but most who gathered Thursday in Fort Worth for the National Day of Prayer hoped for unity.
Small crowds quietly shuffled in and out of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in downtown as an interfaith group led prayers for the nation, Texas, first responders and the military, families and the media. The day of communal prayer and worship began with the blowing of the shofar, a ram’s horn, to honor the victims of a shooting at a synagogue earlier this week. Lori Gilbert-Kaye died when she stepped between the gunman and the rabbi.
Tim Williams said he had a lot on his mind, but above all he was praying for greater love and an end to hate. He said he wanted the country healthy and for God to bring renewed race relations.
“I think it’s in people’s hearts,” he said. “Some people are hurting and we need to think about them.”
Many who came worked nearby and stayed for only a few minutes on their lunch break, like Shatona Johnson. She said she was thinking about her family.
“Family health is always on my mind,” she said.
A proclamation from President Donald Trump was read, along with a letter from U.S. Rep. Kay Granger’s office as well as several Scripture versus. Speakers, including Fort Worth councilman Jungus Jordan, focused on togetherness and unity.
Versella Murray said she was praying for unity across the city. She said she worried about division and hoped the day of prayer would unite neighbors.
“When we come together across backgrounds, races, communities, we grow,” she said. “I love God and I love people.”