Praying for Unity: Local leaders, residents take part in National Day of Prayer

Published 5:05 pm Thursday, May 3, 2018

Local leaders and residents gathered Thursday to pray for the community and the nation during a National Day of Prayer event at the Carter County Courthouse.

Thursday, May 3, marked the National Day of Prayer, and across the country, people gathered in ceremonies similar to the one at the courthouse to join in prayer.

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President Donald Trump issued a proclamation in honor of the day and also announced the creation of a new faith-based office, the White House Faith and Opportunity Initiative. The initiative will focus on protecting religious freedom and ensuring that faith-based and community organizations have strong advocates in the White House and throughout the federal government.

“On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance, and protection,” Trump said in his proclamation. “Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.

“Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength,” the President continued. “Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.”

The event at the courthouse was organized by the Carter County Ministerial Association, and Pastor Randy Johnson read the proclamation by Trump after welcoming everyone to the event.

“Our theme this year is from Ephesians 4:3: ‘Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace,’” Johnson said. “During this time in our nation’s history prayer is more important than ever.”

During this year’s National Day of Prayer, those participating are asked to pray for the seven centers of influence: government, military, media, business, education, church, and family.

Members of the Carter County Ministerial Association led those in attendance in praying for each of those areas.

Pastor Ray Amos led the prayer for government, asking that God would provide guidance to our leaders.

“May God give all great wisdom in times like these,” Amos said. “We pray for those in our local government all the way through the ranks to the President of the United States.”

Pastor Tim Gouge led the payer for the military, asking God’s blessings upon those serving on the front lines, the leaders making the decisions, those who have served in the military, and their families.

Gouge also prayed for the “Army of God” who are battling in spiritual warfare on the spiritual battlefield.

Pastor Mark Potter led the payer for the media.

“We need to pray for the large amount of media in today’s world and the influence it has,” Potter said, noting how media has changed tremendously over the years and grown in influence. “We pray, Lord, for a Godly influence in our media.”

Brother Scott Fisher led the prayer for business and the economy, thanking God for the blessings he has already granted and asking for his continued blessing.

“May we be a country that puts people before industry, but puts You before all, Lord,” Fisher said.

Pastor Jake Johnson led the prayer for education and our schools, asking for wholesome education that glorifies God and safety for the students and teachers.

“Keep them safe from people who would do harm,” Johnson said. “We pray a hedge of protection around them, Lord.”

Minister Greg Key led the prayer for our churches, asking God to help the churches come together to do His good work.

“We pray for unity. We know how easy it is to go our own way. We know how easy it is to let issues divide,” Key said. “But it was Jesus who first prayed for unity, and that is our prayer.”

Pastor Jacob Guinn led the prayer for families, asking God to provide healing for broken families and to pour out mercy and graces on those who are struggling.

“Our churches will only be as strong as our families are strong,” Guinn said. “Our county, our community, will only be as strong as our families are strong. And our country will only be as strong as our families are strong.”

During Thursday’s ceremony, Dale Williams led those in attendance in singing the National Anthem as well as the hymns The Old Rugged Cross and Amazing Grace.

The prayer service closed with all those in attendance praying The Lords Prayer together.