More than 100 people spent the noon hour in prayer yesterday as the county observed National Day of Prayer.
Many in the crowd held Bibles as they gathered in front of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Westminster and listened to supplications for families, farmers, police officers and others.
They stood on the lawn and listened intently. Small children played quietly on the grass beside men and women in business attire.
Many employees had walked one block from the County Office Building to spend a lunch hour in prayer, among them Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier.
"It gives us a sense of unity that there are others praying for God to be merciful upon our nation," said the Rev. Eric Jorgensen, pastor of St. Stephen's Reformed Episcopal Church in Eldersburg, who accompanied about 20 students from the church's academy to the service.
At 12:30 p.m., participants recited the Prayer for the Nation written by the Rev. Billy Graham. Plans called for simultaneous recitation around the country of the petition to "set our feet on the path of Your righteousness and peace."
Marcia Reinhart, who has organized the local service for 10 years, said, "We are saying to our neighbors and friends that we believe in the power of prayer."