Never underestimate the power of prayer.
In times of tragedy, it can keep people calm and also inspire them to take action, said the Rev. Scott Moon, pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau.
That's one reason Moon and pastors from other local churches have decided to participate in a national day of prayer for Hurricane Katrina survivors Friday.
"Prayer is a spiritual activity that I think does have an effect not only spiritually, but emotionally and even materially," said Moon.
Sept. 16 was declared a national day of prayer and remembrance by President Bush last week.
Most local churches are opening their doors from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, some for silent prayer, others for a community prayer service. Some are offering a combination of both.
"This is not just as personal matter, but a community matter," said Moon. "That's why the community will respond with prayer instead of individuals going off on their own to pray."
The Rev. Paul Kabo at First Presbyterian Church in Cape Girardeau said church tower bells will be rung at noon in honor of those who have suffered from the hurricane.
"All of us will be praying for our nation, the Gulf folks so hurt by this natural disaster, and for the many people who are working so hard to help the evacuees rebuild their lives, their homes, and their communities," said Kabo.
Kabo said local church leaders are also recommending keeping car lights throughout Friday to show support, displaying flags and, if you cannot make it to a church or worship center, then gathering at noon with family, friends or coworkers for prayer.
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