HOUSTON – The crowd was smaller but the need is greater.
The number who showed up on the Courthouse Square for Thursday’s National Day of Prayer was below last year’s count, but the community still prayed for recent storm victims, the country and those suffering sickness and hard times.
”Houston dodged this last storm but there are still people who are hurting in both Louisville and Tupelo,” said Rev. Randy Rinehart, of Parkway Baptist Church. “While we are thankful we were spared, our hearts go out to those who suffered loss.”
Rinehart said while many have gone to help storm victims the only real treatment for such devastating loss is prayer — prayer for self, prayer for others and prayer for peace and protection.
The National Day of Prayer is an event aimed at bringing communities together to pray for the country, U.S. troops, social issues and, in Northeast Mississippi’s case, those suffering from natural disasters.
“It is a day we set aside to specifically to pray for our country and our leaders,” said Rinehart. “We need to pray for our President and those who lead us in Washington. Sometimes we pray for them and we see results and sometimes we don’t, but we need to constantly pray for them.”
Rinehart urged those gathered to pray for the military and particularly local guard units still deployed in Afghanistan.
Rinehart also said gathering in public was a visible testimony. He said rights that are not exercised can often be taken away.
“We need to never lose sight of what America was founded on and how our forefathers sought guidance through prayer in forming this nation,” said Rinehart. “Coming together as a great nation to pray for God’s guidance is a big part of what National Day of Prayer is all about.”
The crowd was asked to read scripture and offer their own prayers. The prayer service lasted about 15 minutes and started with the noon chime of the Courthouse clock on the Square in Houston.
National Day of Prayer is held the first Thursday in May and designated by U.S. Congress, as a day when people are asked to turn to God in prayer and meditation. A proclamation is also signed by the President encouraging American’s to pray. The law formalizing this observance was enacted in 1952 although the practice was mandated by George Washington, the first President.
This was the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer.
The theme for 2014 was One Voice, United in Prayer, emphasizing the need for individuals, corporately and individually, to place their faith in the unfailing character of their Creator, who is sovereign over all governments, authorities, and men. The National Day of Prayer chose Romans 15:6 as their Scripture for this year: So that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
To learn more, or to find a National Day of Prayer event in your community, visit www.NationalDayofPrayer.org.