2007-04-26 / Front Page

Ministerial association hosts prayer service at courthouse

Local residents are invited to gather on the front steps of the Lincoln County Courthouse at 12 noon on Thursday, May 3, to observe the 56th Annual "National Day of Prayer (NDP)."

Locally, the day of prayer and repentance is being sponsored by the Lincoln County Ministerial Association.

The theme for the day, "America, Unite in Prayer," is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14: "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Esteemed author and pastor, Dr. Charles Swindoll, is serving as the honorary NDP chairman for 2007 and will address the national gathering in Washington, D.C.

During the thousands of NDP programs held all over the United States, participants will join together in prayer for the nation and its leaders, military personnel, and citizens.

According to Shirley Dobson, NDP Task Force chairman, "At this crucial time in history, with our armed forces engaged in a desperate struggle in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, we encourage all people of faith to set aside their differences and publicly seek God's wisdom and direction for those in harm's way and for our homes, communities, and country. Our Founding Fathers recognized the power of prayer and gathered regularly to ask for God's blessing. We can do no less."

Local church leaders taking part in the prayer service at the courthouse are: Rev. James James, pastor of Martin's Crossroads Congregational Holiness Church; Rev. Dan Fernandez, pastor of Morningside Baptist Church; Rev. Keith Etheridge, pastor of Double Branches Baptist Church; Rev. David Jenkins, pastor of St. Paul United Methodist Church; and Russell Davis, pastor of New Work Baptist Church.

Special music will be provided by vocalists Karen James and Jimmy Griffith.

Also in conjunction with the observance, many churches in the city and county will open their sanctuaries for prayer and meditation from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Community-wide prayer services are held annually by proclamation of the president and the governors of all 50 states.

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding of the United States of America as evidenced by the Continental Congress' proclamation in 1775 setting aside a day of prayer. In 1952, Congress established an annual day of prayer and in 1988, that law was amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.

Members of the community are encouraged to gather at the courthouse on May 3 to take part in this special time of prayer.

In the event of rain, services will be held in the courtroom on the second floor of the courthouse.

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