Though Jim Hardy, youth pastor of First Christian Church, said the attacks on Sept. 11 have created an urgency for prayer, you wouldn't have known it by the attendance at this year's National Day of Prayer celebration held Thursday on the Capitol steps.
The event, which has drawn nearly 400 people in recent years, saw a mere 120 on the sunny and mild afternoon. All ages attended the ceremony, from infants in strollers to senior citizens.
But the numbers do not daunt the mission of the Carson City Ministerial Fellowship.
Rev. Patrick Propster opened the ceremony by praying for a nation "that knows where to turn when she has needs."
Amont those attending the event were Mary Wulkau, 83, of Indian Hills and Lynn Hoheisel, 55, of Carson City.
Wulkau said she prays for people and the world so they can come together as countries and find peace among themselves.
"We (America) should shine and send out the glory of God to other people," said Wulkau.
In respect to the events of Sept. 11, Hoheisel said her prayer habits have not changed much.
"My heart has more compassion," Hoheisel said. "I have the realization we need to be more of a praying world."
As a silver scooter sat propped against a stone bench, safety helmet nearby, toddlers quietly ate their lunch and sat on blankets on the grass, listening to the music and prayers.
The Rev. Brian Cuthill prayed for God to forgive sins and heal the nation. He also prayed for the men and women of the armed forces, law enforcement officers in America, and for people to live in peace and harmony.
Mayor Ray Masayko said it is appropriate people take a day of the year to pause for the power of prayer many need, relish and rely upon. He also thanked the pastors for giving back to the community and their involvement.
"It is part of my personal devotion (to attend)," Masayko said after the ceremony.
"It's a way of saying thank you. I don't regularly attend church, and that doesn't minimize my devotion. But I do attend when invited."
Other pastors read proclamations from Gov. Kenny Guinn and President George Bush. They also prayed for local, state and federal governments, as well as the people of the American nation, and especially families.
"The family is the foundation of all that is good and all that is accepted in the world today," said the Rev. John Wiltse.
Propster closed the ceremony by saying, "This country has been fighting for years for the sake of truth and justice and Godliness.
"Remember the lives lost. May we make God proud."
The Carson City Ministerial Fellowship holds monthly prayer sessions at various churches in the community in recognition of Sept. 11. The next "Prayer 9-11" will be held at 7 p.m. at Father's Heart Community Church, 480 Clear Creek Road. The sessions will culminate on Sept. 11 at the Carson City Community Center. For information, call 883-8078.