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Local News

Hundreds Attend Annual Day of Prayer Event at Santa Maria Fairpark

The local observance of the national event marks its 20th year with prayers and speakers

 

Through song, words and action, hundreds of people united in prayer at the Santa Maria Fairpark on Thursday.

The Santa Maria Valley’s 20th annual celebration was held in conjunction with the 66th annual National Day of Prayer observance.

City planner Neda Zayer, who also is active in Mercy Church as a service coordinator and leader, shared stories about her religious journey and the role of prayer in her life. 

As a student at Cal Poly, Zayer said she had “an amazing encounter with God and gave my life to Jesus.”

“What happened has forever revolutionized my life and changed me forever,” she said. “I’m a result of people fervently and passionately praying for my life.”

Growing up in a Muslim family of immigrants from Iran, her beliefs were different. 

“The idea of God is what I saw in the Middle East and I wanted nothing to do with it,” she added.

Zayer first prayed with friends at college and recalled feeling “the love of God overwhelm my life.”

The burdens of her life faded away, she said.

“In its place, he put his peace and his love and his hope into my life,” Zayer added. “That day forever changed my life.”

Twelve years later, she said she understands the power of prayer and faith in God.

A woman whistles while also recording a National Day of Prayer event at the Santa Maria Fairpark on Thursday. Click to view larger
A woman whistles while also recording a National Day of Prayer event at the Santa Maria Fairpark on Thursday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“I encourage you today, I’m crying out to you today, to think of me as really not just one testimony, but as evidence of what can happen if we really all pray together,” she added.

The service included Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino reading a proclamation for National Prayer Day and others leading specific prayers for government, law enforcement, business, education and other sectors of the community.

It also included songs by Roy Henry with a rousing edition of “America the Beautiful” and other performances by the Cornerstone Church worship team.

In another tradition, hundreds of attendees received a barbecue hamburger lunch provided by the Santa Maria Noontime Kiwanis Club for free. 

The Community of Prayer Inc., a nonprofit organization, organizes the annual prayer observance.

Representatives of several churches participated and attended the event Thursday.

“Today is a prayer meeting, we're going to pray,” said Terry Page from Mercy Church. “Today's a great day for America.”

Page also said President Donald Trump's Thursday signing of an executive order was “securing the freedom of speech and religious freedom for the church again in America.”

“The reason that he did that is because the prayers of the church of America have found their way to the ear of our Lord,” Page said.

The American Civil Liberties Union on Thursday called the executive order “an elaborate photo-op with no discernible policy outcome.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Through song, words and action, hundreds of people filled the Santa Maria Fairpark with prayer Thursday.

The Santa Maria Valley’s 20th annual celebration was held in conjunction with the 66th annual National Day of Prayer observance.

City planner Neda Zayer, who also is active in Mercy Church as a service coordinator and leader, shared about her religious journey and the role of prayer in her  life. 

As a student at Cal Poly, Zayer said she had “an amazing encounter with God and gave my life to Jesus.”

“What happened has forever revolutionized my life and changed me forever,” she said. “I’m a result of people fervently and passionately praying for my life.”

Growing up in a Muslim family of immigrants from Iran, she said she didn’t believe in God. 

“The idea of God is what I saw in the Middle East and I wanted nothing to do it,” she added.

Zayer first prayed with friends at college and recalled feeling “the love of God overwhelm my life.”

The burdens of her life faded away, she said.

“In its place, He put His peace and His love and His hope into my life,” Zayer added. “That day forever changed my life.”

Twelve years later, she said she understands the power of prayer and faith in God.

“I encourage you today, I’m crying out to you today, to think of me as really not just one testimony, but as evidence of what can happen if we really all pray together,” she added.

The service included Mayor Alice Patino reading a proclamation for National Prayer Day and specific prayers for government, law enforcement, business, education and other sectors of the community.

The service included songs by Roy Henry with a rousing edition of “America the Beautiful” and other performances by the Cornerstone Church worship team.

In another tradition, a barbecue hamburger lunch was provided by the Santa Maria Noontime Kiwanis Club for free to hundreds of attendees. 

 

 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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