LIHUE — The future of the nation was a main concern Thursday on National Day of Prayer.
On Kauai, two ceremonies marked the day — one was hosted by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai. The other was hosted by Kauai Island Ministries. Both ceremonies took place at the Civic Center Moikeha Building.
About 50 people attended the IROK event, during which about 20 people representing a variety of faiths on the island, from Judaism and Christianity to Buddhism and Islam, came up to speak about the power of prayer.
“I pray for the leaders of our government — local, state and national that they may be strong and wise to make decisions that protect all of us. I pray that I and my fellow citizens become stronger and wiser so we become better citizens to guide our leaders,” said Al Albergate, with Soka Gakkai International.
It’s a sentiment Steve Rex, pastor of Calvary Chapel North Shore, echoed.
“We won’t have a revival on Kauai, Hawaii or the U.S. until we stop turning a blind eye to sin,” he said. “Lord, you don’t blame the spiritual state of the U.S. on the government, military or bankers. The reason why the U.S. is in a bad state is because of the church — we failed. Help us to humble ourselves and repent our sins.”
Rex spoke during the Kauai Island Ministries event, which was kicked off by Kahu Enoka Kaohelaulii of Hoomanala Iesu Iubile Church of Niihau and her choir.
About 150 attended the event, during which they prayed for repentance, families, church, Israel, education, business, government, military and law enforcement.
“Because we love our children, and our hearts burn for their souls, we will not remain silent,” said Lisa Poole, principal at Olelo Christian Academy. “We pray that schools, whether private, public, charter or home school, be a place of truth. Teachers will impart Goldy wisdom and impart Godly character to our children.”
Michael Christensen, a reverend with Hanapepe United Church of Christ, also prayed for a better nation.
“We will make good choices. We will choose reconciliation over separation. We will choose reasonable dialogue over combat. We will choose welcome over walls. We will choose care for all over saying, ‘Why don’t you do it yourself?’” he said. “Bring us back into fellowship, back into belonging. Back what needs to be a healed nation.”
National Day of Prayer, which was created in 1952, is an annual observance with the mission to mobilize prayer in America and encourage repentance and righteousness, according to its website.
“You are my brothers and sisters. We come in different packages, but we come from one. Remember, we come from one,” said Monroe Richman, who represented the Jewish community. “How good it is, brothers and sisters can sit together in unity.”
Love and peace and a better nation were common themes running in every prayer.
“This is a gathering of love and a source of love,” said Patrick Feren, reverend with the Center for Spiritual Living. “Love comes out of all of these prayers. I’m extremely grateful to express this thing called love and to extend it to the rest of the island and beyond.”