Community leaders of all types convened in Nixa early Thursday morning in observance of the National Day of Prayer.

About 125 people of different faiths and denominations met at The Bridge church for pancakes, bacon, coffee, prayer and fellowship. The event was sponsored by the Nixa Ministerial Alliance.

“What this is about is coming together and loving one another,” Aldersgate United Methodist Church Pastor Dennis Miller said.

Nixa High School senior Paden Michel is a choir member, rodeo team roper and student leader in his church. He shared what prayer meant to him from a young Christian’s perspective.

“Christianity is my religion, but what I have with God is a relationship. To keep that relationship and grow in it, I have to pray and talk to him every day. We should continue to talk to God in our daily walk, not just to bring our problems to Him, but to find solutions in Him,” Michel said.

Michel also offered his view on what prayer means to him.

“A lot of people refer to prayer as a religious requirement, and I feel like that’s not it at all,” Michel said. “Without conversation with the Lord, it would be impossible to grow. Prayer is used in many forms of religion, but for me, it’s about a growing relationship with Christ.”

Christian County Prosecuting Attorney Amy Fite was one of two public officeholders who spoke at the prayer breakfast. She joined Michel in discussing conversational elements of prayer.

“I think that, just as with any relationship, in order for us to be able to maintain that and to become deeper and stronger in any relationship, it requires communication—and that is exactly what prayer is. Prayer is communication with God,” Fite said.

Fite, who normally carries herself with a stoic and calm demeanor in the courtrooms of Christian County, appeared slightly emotional and a bit choked up as she shared some personal moments of each day where she turns to prayer on the job.

“I pray when I’m in court. I pray when I’m faced with difficult decisions. I pray when I am talking to people who are not being kind to me. I pray for understanding when we face and we see the pains that are in others’ lives, and when we are with them I pray for them,” Fite said. “I pray for the children that we serve. I pray for the defendants that we prosecute. I pray to understand what forgiveness means, and I pray for forgiveness for my sins every day.”

Financial advisor Tony Mansseri of Thrivent Financial spoke to represent Nixa’s business community. He used his time to discuss what pastors in Christian County pray about, and how people of faith in Christian County can pray for pastors and other religious leaders.

“I think it’s very, very important that we fully support our pastors in their ministry and all those that serve in church leadership positions,” Manasseri said.

Nixa Chamber of Commerce director Chris Russell and Nixa Public Schools superintendent Gearl Loden also shared with the audience the importance of prayer in their lives and careers.

Nixa Mayor Brian Steele shared one of his favorite Bible verses, John 15:12.

“Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” Steele said. “It seems like we have a divided society, but when we come together like that, it’s a great thing.”

Chris Foster, Lead Pastor at Nixa First Assembly offered prayer for elected officials and other persons in positions of authority. He shared a message from 1 Timothy from the Bible.

“We want our elected officials to change, to honor God and to try to serve in a way that glorifies God, but even if they don’t, our responsibility is to live peaceful and quiet lives,” Foster said. He then prayed. “We thank you for this great opportunity to come to this place and pray together, and I pray that you would touch each of the individuals here today.”

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