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Groups from around San Juan County will meet next week to pray for the country as part of the National Day of Prayer

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FARMINGTON — Groups from around San Juan County will meet at several sites next week to pray for the country as part of the National Day of Prayer.

Services will begin at noon May 5 at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St.; Minium Park, 200 N. Park Ave. in Aztec; and Bishop Square at West Broadway Avenue and North First Street in Bloomfield.

A service has also tentatively been scheduled to take place at the Tiis Tsoh Sikaad Chapter house, located off Navajo Route 5, half of a mile south on Navajo Route 5080, in Burnham.

The services, which will include prayers and worship songs, will last between 30 minutes and an hour.

National Day of Prayer began 65 years ago with an act of Congress to encourage "people of faith to pray for the nation," said Eric Fisher, master of ceremonies for Farmington's National Day of Prayer and president of Navajo Ministries.

"We think it's very important, as people of faith, to lift up the needs of the country," Fisher said.

National Day of Prayer, which takes place on the first Thursday of May, includes a different theme each year. This year's theme is "Wake Up America!" and it will focus on the Bible verse from Isaiah 58:1: "Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet."

Farmington's service will include prayers for Native Americans, families, government, schools, businesses and churches. Representatives from each group will lead the prayers.

Aztec's National Day of Prayer services began last year. Cody Stovall, pastor of Oasis Church's Aztec campus, worked with other Aztec churches to organize the event. Hosting a service at Minium Park made it more accessible for Aztec residents, Stovall said.

"Trying to drive to Farmington on your lunch break is kind of difficult," he said.

About 100 people attended Aztec's inaugural National Day of Prayer, Stovall said.

This year, the Farmington National Day of Prayer will also include a prayer for racial reconciliation.

"We've certainly come a long way with racial reconciliation ... . We certainly still have a ways to go," Fisher said.

Stovall said National Day of Prayer is important because it offers a sense of unity, which is often lacking within the Christian community.

"Where there's unity, God commands his blessing," he said, paraphrasing Psalm 133.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.

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