The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Wales has asked Christians to pray for the community of Machynlleth, as the search for April Jones continues.
Rev Dafydd Andrew Jones urged churches to pray for the five-year-old, her family and residents of the small Welsh market town.
“I feel gripped by a paralysing sadness as I contemplate the family’s suffering, suffering which no words can express," he said.
April was abducted close to her home five days ago while out playing with friends.
Police have arrested main suspect Mark Bridger for abduction and murder.
They have until 5pm today to decide whether to charge or release him.
Rev Jones said: "In the wake of the latest developments in the police investigation, our sympathies are entirely with April’s family and friends in their grief and despair.
"We are grateful for the tremendous effort to find April and admire the willingness of so many volunteers and persons with expertise and experience in putting so much time and effort into the search.
"The Church is full of admiration for the hundreds from all parts of the country who have turned out to participate in search and rescue teams."
Rev Jones also thanked the local churches for keeping their doors open in the wake of April's disappearance to offer spiritual care to the local community.
Prayer vigils have been taking place throughout the week.
"This effort and co-operation shows humanity at its best: responding with compassion to an unprecedented crisis," he said.
Presbyterian churches in Wales are being asked to set aside time for prayer and meditation during Sunday services "to show solidarity with April, her family and friends, the communities at Machynlleth and neighbouring villages, all who are taking part in the search for her, including the police and the search teams".
He said: "May God, our heavenly Father, support, comfort and guide our people in these solemn days."
Call for prayer as search for April Jones continues
Published 06 October 2012