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Prayer vigils held throughout state

When our world stood still Tuesday following attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, many Pike Countians immediately turned to a higher power for strength, comfort and understanding.

A prayer vigil was held at high noon on the square in downtown Troy and the Rev. Don Hatcher, minister of Hephzibah Baptist Church, challenged the community to &uot;seek the face of God&uot; following these vicious attacks on New York and America, and on freedom and our way of life.

&uot;This is a time for us to come together and pray,&uot; Hatcher said. &uot;We are so devastated that we are speechless and, when we don't know what to say, we should pray. Prayer can express things to God that we don't know how to say.&uot;

Hatcher read from 2 Chronicles 7:14: &uot;If my people will humble themselves and pray and search for me and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear them from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land.&uot;

&uot;We are called to prayer,&uot; Hatcher said. &uot;We must humble ourselves and we must seek the face of God during this time of great tragedy. He is our strength.&uot;

Mary Ann Casey, director of the Colley Senior Complex, said she was struck by the remarks of the ministers who participated in the prayer vigil and by the compassion displayed for each other and the nation.

&uot;We must humble ourselves in times like this and go to God,&uot; she said. &uot;We have to come together as a nation because we are all Americans. I am overcome with heartache for the victims of these attacks, their families and for our nation.&uot;

Casey said she is also concerned for those in other countries who are celebrating the death and destruction caused by the attacks on the United States today.

&uot;I am heartbroken that these people are caught up in the lie that we are the enemy,&uot; she said. &uot;We need healing in the world and we need healing in our own society. One thing that I would urge is that we not begin to place blame — on the Democrats, the CIA, anyone. We must sstand together at this time. We must seek the face of God. He is our strength and our hope. Our nation needs Him now. I need Him now. We all need Him now.&uot;