While the legislature is in session, a prayer is said each day in both chambers. But today, more than 400 people came to the capitol to say their own prayers in the 3rd Annual Children's Prayer Service. The people weren't praying for legislation or funding, they were praying for children.
"We chose the capitol steps because we want the leaders of our communities, church leaders to be aware that children are a viable and very important resource and treasure in our communities," said Angie Williams, Children's Ministries Coordinator. More than 20 church groups from across the state traveled to Jackson not to push legislation, but to remind lawmakers about children.
Coorinators of the event said that this was a perfect opportunity to make a statement. "We had children that are out for spring break and this wonderful opportunity to come and join with other children to say, hey, we're here, we have interests and needs and we just want the people and the legislature to know... that we just want you to think about us and remember us," said Hattiesburg resident, Debra Topp.
Soaking up the mid-day sun, several students also read passages. Students prayed for everything from good behavior to dealing with anger. Event organizers say the service was also a chance for kids to take on leadership roles. "We talk a lot about what children need and what we should do for children but we really don't take the time often enough to showcase their talent and to hear from them and to give them an opportunity to speak," said Williams.