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Wallenda's walk highlights faith

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 24, 2013
and last updated 2014-10-06 09:10:53-04

SARASOTA, Fla. - Wallenda's walk Sunday night shined a spotlight on his faith.

"Thank you Jesus. Thank you Jesus," he said as he stepped slowly on the high wire.  And as millions around the world watched Wallenda walk across the Grand Canyon they also got a rare peek into his faith.

"Lord help this cable to calm down. Calm it, in your name Jesus. In the authority of God. Praise you, Praise you Jesus," prayed Wallenda.

That was just one of many prayers in the 20 plus minute walk and those watching noticed. "It was almost like being there with him, he was praying and we were praying. You had people with hands over their mouth just in awe," said Sarasota resident Michael Capierseho.

Wallenda was walking on a 2 inch wire, 1,500 feet in the air -- a height taller than the Empire State Building -- and all without a safety harness. And despite his years of training and experience he was relying on a higher power.

"He was putting his life in God's hands like we also should and I was praying along with him," said one Sarasota resident.

Wallenda's prayers have sparked a fire under believers and non-believers alike. Many churches even using him as an example of having faith.

But the conversation hasn't been all positive. One viewer wrote us saying the praying was overkill and made watching uncomfortable.  While others questioned why God has time for Nick's walk but not to help starving children. 

But those at Wallenda's church say they're not concerned with the negatives.  "To see him share the gospel is over whelming and brings so much joy" said Pastor Mary Lou Emrich from Shining Light Church. 

"He shouts it from the roof top actually he shouts it from the wire top and I don't know of anyone who has shouted louder," added Emrich.

And as the debate over Wallenda's words continue, one thing is certain.

"Religion can help you find a sense of strength and courage and I think that him praying helped him find that in himself," said Sarasota resident Nicholas Lewis.

Wallenda was the first person to walk across the Grand Canyon and he has gone on record saying the accomplishment was done with the help of a higher power.