LIHUE — A diversity of prayers, songs and chants from different religious, languages and spiritual traditions on Kauai rang out from the Lihue Civic Center to celebrate the theme of “Pray for America—Unity” during the annual National Day of Prayer on Thursday.
“To come together today for the National Day of Prayer to recognize all the different ways in which we celebrate and worship and experience the divine presence in all of its many different manifestations is really powerful,” said Reverend Peggy Price from the Parliament of the World Religions. “It helps us to learn to understand each other even more.”
Sounds of crystal bowls resonated, and the Sacred Earth Choir united all voices with the singing of “E Hawaii Aloha E” in both Hawaiian and English. Attendees bowed their heads in reverent prayer and held their neighbors’ hands.
Sponsored by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai, this free event included representatives of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Baha’i, Brahma Kumaris, Eckankar, Happy Science, Center for Spiritual Living, Fellowship of the Inner Light, Christian Mysticism, New Thought/Unity, Yoga and Secular Humanism, among others, welcoming all religions and spiritual paths.
“I’d like to send a prayer to all those who are suffering from addictions,” said Rev. Nicole Sakurai of Happy Science of Kauai. “God, may the power of your love heal…. please give us strength, give us infinite powers to create utopia.”
The National Day of Prayer has deep historical roots in this country, having been declared in 1775 by the Continental Congress when forming a new nation. In 1952, Congress passed a bill proclaiming National Day of Prayer; and on May 5, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed into law official recognition of the first Thursday in May annually as the National Day of Prayer.
“I think prayer — communing with God, communing with ourselves and one another — can bring about change,” said Kauai Hospice interfaith chaplain, Rev. Walt Weiss. “Being part of the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai has been a new addition to my life, so I was very grateful to participate.”
Founded in 2005, the Interfaith Roundtable is celebrating its 13th anniversary this year. Following the ceremony, a second service honoring the Day of Prayer, was presented by Kauai Island Ministries, an interdenominational ministry networking Christian churches and organizations.
“We pray for those who may not even know we are praying for them,” said Pastor Steve Franks of King’s Chapel Kauai. “Lord help us to do our best…. We repent, but now we stand and we say, Lord heal our lands.”
The crowd of more than 100 sang hymns of worship and joined hands in prayer, with representatives from King’s Chapel, Faith Christian Fellowship, Billy Graham Ministries, Shield of Faith, The Church of Koloa, King’s Christian Academy, Kauai Lighthouse Outreach Center, Westside Christian Center and many others. Bible scripture was read, and the singing of songs like “How Great Thou Art” echoed throughout the courtyard during the spiritual event.
“Peace begins with me, it begins with you,” said RoseAnne Eaton-Jones of the Center for Spiritual Living. “But it also can spread throughout the world.”
John Steinhorst, reporter, can be reached at 245-0435 or firstname.lastname@example.org.