Day of Prayer observed

Published 7:32 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

JACKSON — Despite the spring storms that threatened to swamp it out, the faith of those participating in National Day of Prayer still shone strong here.

On Thursday, citizens of Northampton County gathered here take part in the 58th annual National Day of Prayer.

As a precaution because of the stormy weather, the event was moved from the Northampton County Courthouse pavilion to the United Methodist Church, which sponsored the event.

The crowd was treated to a program featuring prayer and musical performances. A bagged lunch was offered to participants afterwards.

The church’s Reverend Paul Lee greeted those who attended, giving the first prayer for the nation and its leaders.

“This is not your nation, this is not my nation, this nation’s is God’s,” he said to the crowd.

Pastor Bob Johnson, the featured speaker, recalled the roots of what is now known as National Day of Prayer, beginning first with first U.S. President George Washington. In 1952, President Harry S. Truman officially signed National Day of Prayer into law.

Johnson noted the inclusiveness of the annual observance.

“National Day of Prayer is not limited to Christianity,” Johnson said. “We all come together to offer up prayer, words to our creator.”

He spoke about the importance of prayer as a nation. He said during the invasion at Normandy during World War II, Americans were directed to pray and when victory was captured on D-Day “the prayers of a nation had been a powerful force.”

Another notable historic moment for prayer came just before the Battle of Gettysburg when, according to Johnson, President Abraham Lincoln bowed his head.

“If Roosevelt, Lincoln or the pilgrims never doubted the power of prayer, neither should we,” he said.