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Houston County Courier - Local News

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Hear Our Prayer, O Lord ...


By Alton Porter
Courier Reporter

A gathering of believers from various denominations assembled on the east side of the Houston County Courthouse on Thursday, May 4, to pray as part of the 2017 National Day of Prayer observance. The annual event, which has been held in Crockett and sponsored by the Houston County Ministerial Association the last five years, was organized and moderated by Pastor Steve Meadows of Westside Baptist Church. Meadows also is treasurer of the ministerial association. Among those present on the solemn occasion were both City of Crockett mayoral candidates: Joni Clonts and Billy "Hollywood" Groves. It lasted for just over a half hour and featured the reading of a prayer for the nation penned by Anne Graham Lotz, honorary chairwoman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Charlana Kelly, associate pastor of The Fellowship at Larry Bruce Gardens, Kennard, read the prayer. Kelly also is secretary of the ministerial association. The prayer, titled "National Prayer," can be accessed on the task force's website at www.nationaldayofprayer. org/theme_ and_verse. In addition, prayers for different segments of our community were prayed by ministers from several local churches. Wesley May, semi-retired pastor, Friday Baptist Church, prayed for the United States government, military and media. Glenn Farris, pastor, First Baptist Church, Kennard, sent up petitions for American business, education and churches. Dr. Bill Jones, executive director, Neches River Baptist Association, lifted up law enforcement personnel and first responders. Jeb Dotson, pastor, First Assembly of God, Crockett, interceded on behalf of city and county governments. Chad Lawson, pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Crockett, prayed an intecessory prayer for families and the nation. Malcolm Monroe, pastor, First United Methodist Church, Crockett, prayed for judges. Josh Lipert, youth pastor, First Assembly, Crockett, lifted up city and county attorneys and district attorneys. Before those prayers were prayed, those who were gathered were given the opportunity to enter into a time of silence, reflection, repentance and individual prayer for about three minutes. Anthony Mathis, youth pastor, First Baptist Church, Crockett, led the group in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. Calling the 2017 National Day of Prayer a special day of prayer, Meadows told the said, "Many Christians are unaware that they live in a nation that has a law in place requiring a president to proclaim a National Day of Prayer each year on the first Thursday in May. "And every year since this was enacted, that's exactly what has happened. Every president has signed a proclamation for the National Day of Prayer, no different than this year. "The law says this – it is Public Law 105-225: 'The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday of May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation in churches and groups and as individuals.' "Thank God we still live in a country that we can freely gather together wherever we choose to gather – at a place like this (the courthouse lawn), in our churches, in our schools. We always talk about our kids can't pray at school. Well, yeah, they can. And they do. We do have kids who pray at school. "So, I'm greatful. I'm greatful that we have Christian teachers who pray and pray for their students. I'm greatful for our schools today – all of our schools." Meadows added, "As citizens and residents of the United States, as believers in Christ, we have a spiritual responsibility, according to 1 Timothy 2:1-2, to pray. Timothy says, 'Therefore, I exhort, first of all, that supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and reverence.' "We also have a civic duty, as well, to heed our president's call to stand in the gap for our nation. Who, but God's people, have the ability to enter into the very throne room of heaven with prayer and petition and know that our God's ears are open to hear?" Meadows said the theme of this year's National Day of Prayer was, "For your great name's sake! Hear us... Forgive us...Heal us!" "It's taken from Daniel 9:19, which says, 'O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your name's sake, O my God...,'" Meadows said. "Today (Thursday, May 4), on this National Day of Prayer, thousands of individuals, churches and communities will rally, as we are here to once again to heed this call. Scripture tells us again and again that our fervent prayer is effective. That our loving God responds to His children's earnest pleas in mighty ways that avail much and ultimately determine the course of history. "At this crucial time for our nation, we can do nothing more than pray. Thank you for making prayer a priority today and for gathering with us as we lift our prayers, supplications, intercessions and thanksgiving before the Lord. We encourage you to make prayer, as we are also, a priority this year as we pray together for revival and spiritual awakening in the United States of America." The program closed with Meadows leading the attendees in singing together these words from a song and prayer from Psalm 61: "Hear (our) cry, O God; Attend unto (our) prayer. From the end of the earth, (we will) cry unto You. When (our hearts) are overwhelmed; You lead us to the Rock that is higher than us." The first U.S. Continental Congress called for a National Day of Prayer in 1775, and in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln called for such a day. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives established the National Day of Prayer as an annual event by a joint resolution, signed into law by President Harry S. Truman in 1952. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, designating the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May.


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