Believers gather by city hall to pray for leaders everywhere

by: VERN UYETAKE - Barbara Morejohn of Lake Oswego closes her eyes in prayer at the National Day of Prayer in Lake Oswego last Thursday.People of faith from all over Lake Oswego gathered at the flagpole behind Lake Oswego City Hall last Thursday for the National Day of Prayer.

It was an impressive outpouring of faith because the day had a special meaning, coming so soon after the bombing tragedy at the Boston Marathon.

Of all the groups there to pray, however, the most impressive was the leadership class from Our Lady of the Lake School. The children's prayers were mostly short, deeply felt or sometimes humorous. One girl prayed that her dog become happier and appreciated the good home it had.

"It was such a blessing to hear children pray and to see their faces," said Donna Scales, who led the organizing committee. "They set our theme. I'm glad their pastor (Father Charles Wood) was here to hear them."

The students prayed for the homeless, the hungry, the victims of the Boston Marathon, their brothers, sisters and parents. Wood said there were proxies for children everywhere. In return the students received an important lesson.

"What motivates me so much is that when you have a freedom you need to take advantage of it," Scales said. "We were free to praise God in front of city hall." by: VERN UYETAKE - Father Charles Wood of Our Lady of the Lake Parish reads from the Bible. Listening are, from the left, Mayor Kent Studebaker, Lee Havens and Becky Cartier.

This was the 13th year for observing the National Day of Prayer in Lake Oswego. It was started because the Lake Oswego Mayor's Prayer Breakfast was canceled after just two years. This was disappointing to Scales and other church women, and they resolved to replace it with another event. The day of prayer started out with only four churches involved. Now, there are too many to count.

"I have lots of friends, and most of them are Christians, and I can't tell how many churches are represented here," Scales said.

Most people were there to pray. Others were there to ask for prayers.

by: VERN UYETAKE - Charles Patton leads the singing at LO's National Day of Prayer. Joining in are students from Our Lady of the Lake School."I hope you send some prayers our way at city hall," said Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker.

Leaders and public servants at all levels were high on the prayer list. So were American military men and women serving in the Middle East. It was a special day for Lake Oswego's Becky Cartier, who has made caring for the families of soldiers her special mission.

"I got the idea for starting Cards for Guards through prayer," Cartier said.

Some people had very immediate reasons for thanking this city's public servants.

"I want to thank our firefighters," said Lee Havens. "They saved my house from burning down a month ago."

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