Last week, the United States recognized the National Day of Prayer. In honor of the day of reflection and service, I had attended a Day of Prayer service in the City of Artesia that centered around recognizing interfaith engagement and practicing interfaith service.
Some of the most poignant statements said during the service, as originally mentioned in this Huffington Post article, are as follows:
“Our positions are beautified [when we give to the poor.]”
“We pray for unity in our community.”
“We need leaders who think of the next generation, not the next election.”
“What Job needed was not answers, but companionship.”
“The United States is a great nation.”
“In the US, we have freedom to become educated, to be safe, to have unity and diversity.”
“I’m thankful to be part of a great nation like the United States.”
The service and its location emphasized the freedom of religion and the melting pot of cultures that is the epitome of the United States. The City of Artesia, where the event was held, has a population that is made up of various ethnicities and races and the event had representatives from multiple faiths.
A few of the prayers shared in this interfaith Day of Prayer mentioned in the original article were:
“Prayer for Shalom,” by Associate Pastor Mark Lohman, New Life Community Church
“Prayer for the Country,” by the Reverend Dr. Brian Suk-Boo Lee, Artesia-Cerritos United Methodist Church;
“Prayer for Helping Those in Need,” by local Sikh and community leader Maninder Sethi;
“Prayer for Community Leaders,” by Pastor Erik Edquist, The Well Foursquare Community Church;
The host of the city’s event was Dr. Victor Manalo, the Mayor of the City of Artesia as well as the Director of the Claremont Core. He had emphasized throughout the event the importance of practicing interfaith engagement through respectful dialogue and being mindful of other cultures, traditions, and religions.