As the clock struck noon on Thursday, May 3, area residents and church leaders gathered at Post Office Square in Belfast to observe the 61st annual National Day of Prayer.

The hour-long event featured religious leaders, local residents and their families, all of whom offered prayers for many entities including the president and federal government, state officials, military personnel, their families and wounded soldiers, the imprisoned, persecuted and needy, mass media, schools and the health of families in general.

Throughout the observance, those in attendance were treated to music, various prayer recitations, group sing-a-longs, a community prayer session and a few honks of support from those passing by.

During Thursday’s event, Pastor Cliff Gall with the Searsport Full Gospel Church credited Pastor Scott Baker and his wife Kim with Little River Baptist Church in Belfast for bringing their seven children along for the day’s event.

“This is a cross-generational effort,” said Gall of the importance of passing the tradition down to the nation’s youngest citizens.

Kim Baker, in turn, offered a prayer seeking solidarity for the nation’s families, and for the happy and healthy growth of America’s children through the active participation of parents, friends and neighbors.

“Help us as we raise our children, and even if we don’t have children, we help influence other children,” she said.

Prior to the start of the event, Pastor Gall said the event has been well received in the Belfast area over the years.

“We’ve had this here for several years, and it works out real good,” he said, as he assisted Pastor Norm Labonte of the Safe Harbor Church in Searsport with setting up the sound system for the event.

To learn more about the National Day of Prayer, visit nationaldayofprayer.org.