The National Day of Prayer is just as much about giving thanks for our nation’s blessings as it is about asking for guidance for our nation’s leaders.

“We do live in, I think, one of the most blessed nations in the world,” said Eric Cox, pastor at Living Word Fellowship and coordinator for the Woodward County National Day of Prayer.

One of the “blessings” of being an American is the freedom of religion and being able to celebrate and participate in a day set aside for prayer, he said.

With the annual National Day of Prayer set for Thursday, Cox said people should take time to think about all the things our nation has to be grateful for.

However, it is also an important time to ask for help for our nation, he said.

Cox said there are a long line of historical examples of when our nation’s presidents set aside time for prayer to ask for guidance.

“There was a national day of prayer called for after the first continental congress,” he said, which he noted shows that “Our nation’s leaders needed wisdom in forming this nation.”

Cox argued that praying for such wisdom remains “just as important today as we go  through some difficult economic times.”

“What better time for someone to pray for us than now?” he asked, noting that “we’ve had some challenges and there will be more challenges in the future, but I believe we’re going to make it and I think we’ll do it through prayer.”

Cox and several other local pastors will be leading a community prayer gathering this Thursday from noon to 1 p.m. on the lawn of the Woodward County Courthouse.

As part of the hour-long prayer session, Cox said “we want to lift our leaders up.”

“Leaders have to make difficult decisions and ... we want them to make wise decisions concerning city, county and nation,” he said of the importance of prayer for leaders, not only those in government but those throughout the community as well, such as our school leaders.

Cox encouraged the public to participate, explaining that the National Day of Prayer event is “for every person; for citizens from all backgrounds.”

In fact, he said that is why so many local pastors participate in leading the prayer session because “it’s not about one denomination or people group, but about all.”

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