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Monday May 30th, 2016 6:45PM

Prayers lifted in downtown Gainesville for annual observance

By B.J. Williams News Director

GAINESVILLE - The community of faith gathered in downtown Gainesville Thursday as part of the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer observance.

Prayer on the Square was one of thousands of events scheduled in communities across the country. The first Thursday in May has been designated as the National Day of Prayer since 1988, although the event has been observed nationally since 1952.

Maxine Wagner with Hall County Prayer was one of the organizers of Prayer on the Square. She said it was gratifying to join with other communities in observing a day set aside specifically for prayer.

"I think for us here in our community to draw together to realize that there are Christians - all denominations - that are concerned about the nation, we need to...bow in humility and humble ourselves and cry out to God," said Wagner.

The committee again this year set up seven prayer stations around the center of the downtown square. A leader at each station prayed specifically for a segment of the community - church, military, family, government, media, education and business - while participants rotated from station to station to join in the prayers.

At the conclusion of the event, all who had gathered for the observation - more than 100 people - encircled the square for a time of corporate prayer.

Wagner said that Hall County Prayer will continue to coordinate the event every year.

"One of our committee members said, you know...let's do this as long as we still have the freedom to do it because some day we may not."

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