They came to pray for the nation.
They came to pray for political leaders -- local, state and national.
They came to pray for their community, for young people, marriages, their schools, in gratitude for blessings.
About 40 people came to Thomson Presbyterian Church on May 5 to observe the National Day of Prayer.
Dr. John Cook, the pastor of the church, noted that the theme this year was A Mighty Fortress Is Our God. After those in attendance, led by the Rev. Mark Bowers of First Baptist Church, sang the well-known hymn, Cook noted that its second verse says, "Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing."
He said that we often rely on our own strength and, citing the book of Ephesians, reminded everyone that "our struggle is not with flesh and blood. The real trouble behind the troubles we see are spiritual forces."
The Rev. John Barnes, pastor of First Methodist Church, prayed that Christians would "not rely on the government to care for the poor and those in need" but would have the grace to reach out to those people themselves.
Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry prayed for political leaders throughout the country. Elected officials from President Obama down to those on the local level were listed on the back of the program. He also thanked God for the nation's military and the successful raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan.
In the closing prayer, Dr. James Ramsey of First Baptist thanked God for freedom, including "freedom from sin," and in homage to the Almighty, said, "It is who you are that has made us great."