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National Day of Prayer, 2024
In addition to praying, prayer warriors in attendance also sang hymns of praise during the National Prayer Day observance in Owatonna. Staff photo by Rick Bussler
Church leaders unite people at National Day of Prayer
Rick Bussler, Publisher

The message to a room full of prayer warriors was simple: lift up the word and light up the world.

That’s exactly what folks of all ages did during the National Day of Prayer May 2 at Owatonna council chambers. They prayed and sang hymns of praise for about an hour before being challenged to continue those prayers in their daily lives.

Rev. Brent Carlson of Christ Community Covenant Church in Owatonna led the 73rd federal observance of prayer day. However, the first call to pray publicly much earlier in 1775.

Pastors from churches all over Owatonna provided specific prayers for various groups in the community, including city, churches, medical community, public safety, schools, business and state, national and local officials.

“We pray for churches and faith community and ask for your divine guidance…  grant wisdom to our leaders and church members,” Rev. Todd Buegler of Trinity Lutheran Church prayed at the event.

Rev. Loren Olson, who serves as a chaplain for Owatonna Police, offered: “Law enforcement faces challenges and split-second decisions… we ask for protection of them and their families. Bless them for the way they serve our communities. Bless them for their willingness to serve in this very stressful role.”

Nurse Kim Cluever prayed for the medical community. “Help encourage us and allow us to speak your word into our patients,” she said. “Bring healing and be compassionate no matter what.”

Carlson prayed for the leadership of the Steele County Free Fair and for those who will be attending Minnesota’s largest county fair. “We have the privilege of having a great opportunity to enjoy this great event every August,” he said. “We pray for staff and workers and pray that people will have fun,” he added.

At the conclusion of the event, Carlson encouraged people to pray on their own for seven centers of influence across America: government, military, media, business, education, church and family.

Mayor Thomas Kuntz shared a proclamation that he issued for prayer day. Kuntz, who indicated this will be his final year in office, received a round of applause from the crowd for his support over the years.

A praise team led by Rev. Nate Palmer of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church performed various hymns of praise during the event.

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