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A National Day of Prayer Celebrated and Proclaimed in the City of Rochester

Staff Report

Local government officials, leaders and joined with area clergy and other members of the Rochester, Monroe County faith community to pray and recognize the National Day of Prayer.

With gun violence, crime and homicides spiking, local officials, leaders  joined with area clergy and members of Rochester and Monroe County in unified prayer.

Mayor Malik D. Evans joined with County Executive Adam Bello in recognition and celebration , proclaiming May 5 as National Day of Prayer. 

“The National Day of Prayer is a time for us to dismantle all barriers and embrace each other beyond denomination, or religion, but through love, kindness, and the acceptance of the diversity of humankind,” said Mayor Evans. “We shall celebrate our differences as we pray for peace and prosperity for our city, our nation, and all of humanity.” 

The National Day of Prayer seeks to strengthen our nation and our communities through the power of prayer.

It was created in 1952 by President Harry Truman as an annual observance held on the first Thursday in May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation and their communities. 

Rochester’s local National Day of Prayer Initiative originated in May 2012.

Currently, the local National Day of Prayer is organized yearly by Bishop David Singleton, Senior Pastor at Ark of Jesus Ministries. Singleton is also a retired city firefighter with 22 years of service in the department.

“The National Day of prayer is important for multiple reasons, the chief of which is because God instructs us to pray,” said Bishop Singleton, organizer of the event. “We have the privilege of praying as a nation. In recent times, the need has grown for prayer in every place across our community and this great nation. We welcome all faiths to join us in this God-honoring and purposeful gathering.” 

Bello said the National Day of Prayer is a time for our communities of faith to come together to uplift the community with hope and renewed energy.  He said our faith does more to unite us than divide us.

Community members came out and joined with leaders and the various member houses of worship in the celebration as well.

Rochester City School District Superintendent Lesli Myers-Smalls celebrated, thanked the clergy and all those who pray for the city of Rochester. Myers-Small spoke blessings on all those who pray regularly for the city and the children. “I pray for us to be a city united in faith and prayer,” she said.

The national/local day of prayer will be acknowledged yearly, says Singleton, with support of community and city and county officials.

“We have to understand. …I understand that God is in control. I am the mayor of the city of Rochester, but let me tell you something. I am just a human being. And if we are gonna transform the city. We have to understand the power of prayer,” Evans said.

“I just want to thank all of the clergy, all of the prayer warriors throughout the city of Rochester. Regardless of your respective places and stations. In order for us to get through the spiritual wickedness that we are seeing in this world, we need to make sure that we lean on the almighty in power.”

Find the full video of the National Day of Prayer at City Hall here;