Community to observe National Day of PrayerPublished 11:42am Saturday, April 27, 2013
Pray without ceasing is the command from the Bible, and May 2 it will see countrywide emphasis with the annual National Day of Prayer.
The national observance will also recognized locally May 2 at noon, sponsored by the Alexander City Area Ministerial Association.
“Our prayer for America during the National Day of Prayer is that the Lord will send a mighty spiritual awakening that will turn the hearts of men and women, boys and girls back to Him,” said Michael Waldrop, president of the association.
The program will be held in front of the Bud Porch Center at the roundabout or inside First Baptist Church, weather depending.
“Our nation faces moral, political and conduct crises of all kinds,” said Bill Middlebrooks, secretary of the association. “God is still sovereign. He still cares about people. But I also understand we have to approach him with humility and dependence. That’s part of what the national day of prayer is about.”
The National Day of Prayer was implemented in 1952 through a joint resolution of the United States Congress, held the first Thursday of May each year.
Prayers, scripture reading and soloists will all be part of the observance, with numerous community members contributing. Middlebrooks said past years’ attendances have ranged from 75–150 participants.
“The city sets up tents and chairs for us. Of course, we hope the attendance outnumbers the chairs,” Middlebrooks said.
The city will also kick off the National Day of Prayer with the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, another annual component of the observance.
“It’s just going to be a very uplifting way to start your day,” said Fran Radney in the mayor’s office. “The mayor believes in prayer, and he believes in our most troubled times we should turn to prayer.”
The breakfast will be held in the First United Methodist Church fellowship hall at 7 a.m. It will also include patriotic entertainment.
Todd Henderson of FUMC said they are honored to host the breakfast.
“It just really brings us together and reminds us of our dependence upon God,” Henderson said. “It strengthens our faith and fellowship. There are so many scriptures that call us and remind us to pray.”
Henderson said he will bring a message, and multiple prayers will be offered.
“Prayer has been with us from the very beginning, since the writing of the Constitution,” Henderson said. “This is very much a part of who we are as Americans.”
Waldrop said 2 Chronicles 7:14 drives home the need for prayer – “ if we will humble ourselves and pray, and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, that He will forgive our sins and heal our land.”
“As the ministers and citizens of Alexander City come together on this very important day, may God bless and keep us and cause His face to shine upon us,” Waldrop said. “There is no doubt that the spiritual climate in America has grown colder toward God and His ways, but God still hears the prayers of those who will humble themselves before Him. He is the healer of individual lives, families, marriages, cities, states, and nations who will simply surrender to His will.”
Middlebrooks said the observance is always attended by a core group as well as new people each year.
“When Christians gather with common cause, everybody is blessed, and it gives us awareness that all the Christians have a similar desire for God to work his power and blessings upon the town,” Middlebrooks said.
He added while the public prayer is not for show, it does impact people.
“The gathering of the people has been significant,” Middlebrooks said. “Public prayer makes an impression. The fact that we have the freedom to pray without being scared or threatened is significant.”
Everyone is welcome to the National Day of Prayer activities.