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This Thursday, May 7, the public is invited to take part in the 58th Annual National Day of Prayer at the Ray County Courthouse in Richmond from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
“Prayer…America’s Hope” is the theme, taken from Psalm 33:22: “May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you.”
Each hour, beginning at 7 a.m., one of the local churches will lead prayers on behalf of our leaders at the city, county, state, and federal level.
At noon, a special public service will be held. Rob Kinnard will welcome attendees and Missouri State Troopers will present the colors of the nation.
The opening message will be presented by Clay Kahler. To understand the importance of this event, the National Day of Prayer Web site featured an article by Dana Chaffin, “2009 National Day of Prayer.”
“This day is for all Americans to unite in prayer for guidance, protection, and strength for the seven centers of power; government, military, media, business, education, church, and family. The seven centers of power cover every citizen,” said Chaffin.
Local people will lead prayers on behalf of the seven centers of power. Pastor Mike Hibbard leads prayer for the government, Denver Horton for the military and their families and Kinnard for our police, fire and emergency personnel, Everett Thompson for local businesses, Julie White for the media, Carolee Garth for education, Clay Kahler for our churches and Lyndy Anne Johnson for our families.
“Pray that the leaders of government would seek God for the answers they need,” “Pray that God would install in office men and women who are committed to serve with integrity… that our leaders have the devotion, principles and wisdom of our Founding Fathers…ask God to place honorable people in our paths to deliver hope and spiritual strength.” “Pray for those in media and entertainment to realize they are a powerful influence on many…for those facing economic hardships, pray for those who teach, for businesses to conduct business in an honorable manner, for employees to be loyal and trustworthy, for people to be obedient to Christ, and for families to come together, and for God’s people to unite,” wrote Chaffin.
An invitation is extended to all city and county officials, and those involved in any way in the seven centers of power. Basically, that means everyone is encouraged and invited to attend this very important event that makes such an impact in so many lives.
A 7 p.m. service is also provided in order that those who work during the day may still join in prayer on behalf of the community and country. A prayer walk will consist of a different group of people prayer-walking at the following places: the police, fire and ambulance buildings, the school board office and all schools, the Ray County Jail and the Armory. Leaders have been appointed to each place and everyone is welcome to join a group. In the event of inclement weather, a bus will be at the courthouse in order for prayer to be held.
Several local churches will be open for those who feel led to go to church and pray. Henrietta Baptist Church will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. First Baptist Church in Richmond will open from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Immaculate Conception Catholic Church will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The National Day of Prayer was signed into law in 1952 by Pres. Truman. Congress has been calling on the public to pray since 1775, when it asked the citizens to pray for wisdom in forming the new nation. Ray County Commissioners have joined other counties and states in declaring May 7, 2009 as the National Day of Prayer. In the proclamation are phrases emphasizing the need for leaders and nations to be led by prayer:
“WHEREAS, leaders of our nation have relied upon the power of prayer throughout American History; and
“WHEREAS, we as a nation give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy and pray that the state of Missouri and its people will continue to be blessed and protected from those who threaten democracy.”
In 2008, prayer gatherings were held in every state. Observances were held in many venues; from homes and schools, to jails/prisons, military bases, government installations, nursing homes, national parks, sports stadiums and every place in-between, according to Chaffin. Even a PrayerFlight was organized where pilots and passengers prayed as they flew over each capital.
“We have seen many examples (in newspaper and Internet article headlines) of the transforming power of corporate prayer. Communities have dramatically lowered crime rate, suicide, unemployment and drug usage in examples where only prayer could be pointed to as the agent of change,” said Chaffin.
An expected two million Americans will gather nationally to pray for the United States of America. For more information about this event, please see the Web site at www.ndptf.org or call 816-470-9925.