WILTON — People came together Thursday to pray for different aspects of society during the annual National Day of Prayer.
A large group gathered at noon in Bass Park at the head of Wilson Lake and were welcomed by Pastor Barry Trask of Calvary Hill Baptist Church.
The United States is No. 1 economically and in the number of missionaries sent to other countries, he said. But the country also has 195 million people who are "unchurched" or have no church affiliation, he said.
"It's a needy nation," he said, reminding them of this year's theme, One Nation Under God, and the Bible verse from Psalm 33, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
Pastor Steve Park of East Wilton Union Church led prayers for families, after telling those gathered that "families are dysfunctional but God left a manual."
Pastor Ira Hall of Bean's Corner Baptist Church led the group in song and also prayed for churches.
Individuals stepped forward to pray for prisons, the military, the media, business and law enforcement, along with education and government.
A similar service was held at noon in Meetinghouse Park in Farmington.
The events are coordinated each year by Bernadette Harvell.
Congress and President Harry Truman enacted an annual, National Day of Prayer in 1952. It was amended in 1988 by President Ronald Reagan to set the first Thursday in May as the date for the annual event.
President Barack Obama and Gov. Paul LePage issued proclamations for the day, encouraging citizens to participate, Trask said.