HANFORD — “Love One Another” was the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer, and it was a theme which drew hundreds to the Hanford Civic Auditorium.
Community leaders, religious figures and members of the community gathered to celebrate the power of prayer.
“The power of prayer is needed more than ever for the attainment of America’s goal of peace and justice for all,” Mayor Sue Soren said at the top of the ceremony.
Sorensen would go on to proclaim Thursday as a National Day of Prayer in Hanford, adding that she urged all citizens to join together in prayer “that in the spirit of trust, cooperation and good will, we may beseech God for the strength and wisdom to make our community a better place to live.”
Following Sorensen’s speech, Suey Hernandez of Lakeside Community Church’s worship team sang the spiritual “Heal Our Land.”
The theme of “love” extended into the Prayer for the Nation, written by Ronnie Floyd president of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, read by former Kings County Sheriff Chris Jordan.
“We believe love is the better way. We believe love is God’s way,” Jordan said as hundreds of residents bowed their heads, closed their eyes and held hands.
Jordan, while reading, also pled for forgiveness and said that hurling divisive “harsh and bitter words” at each other is a failure.
This theme was expanded upon by guest speaker, Don Orvis, former Denver Bronco Chaplain.
“We may not always agree, but we out to always love each other,” Orvis said.
Orvis’ speech, much of which was humorous and had the large audience laughing regularly, also touched upon how he came to be a Christian and the life changes that followed.
The lunchtime ceremony also featured a prayer for government and military led by Lemoore Chief of Police Darrell Smith, a prayer for media and business led by David Clevenger of the Kings Gospel Mission and a prayer for education, churches and family led by South Valley Community Church Pastor Frank Caudell.
The event marked the 68th annual National Day of Prayer and the 19th annual Kings County observance.