GRAFTON—Most Christians would agree that now more than ever, people need to come together in prayer for our fellow man and our nation, and to do just that, residents celebrated the National Day of Prayer.
Each year, the first Thursday in May is set aside for the National Day of Prayer. It is a day for people from all faiths to come together to pray for the country as a whole.
The National Day of Prayer started in 1775, but was not officially recognized until 1952, when President Truman signed the proclamation declaring a National Day of Prayer.
The law was amended, permanently setting the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer and was signed by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.
Every year local, state and national events are held, that unite Americans from all backgrounds. It is estimated that over two million people take part in these events, according to www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
The National Day of Prayer was recognized locally at the International Mother’s Day Shrine on Thursday, May 6, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
To begin the local celebration, guests were invited to worship the Lord through song, before Fleeta Dickey, local National Day of Prayer organizer and Grafton Aglow Community Lighthouse President, welcomed individuals to this year’s event.
“We are so happy that you are all here,” said Dickey. “If ever before, we need to pray. We need the love of God in this nation and that is what we are trying to lift up here tonight.”
She revealed that this year’s theme for the event was “Lord, pour out your love, your life and your liberty.”
“The scripture verse this year is 2Corinthians 3:17 ‘Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,’ so take your liberty tonight,” Dickey voiced.
Following opening remarks, Grafton Vice Mayor Karen Willis recited an official proclamation declaring Thursday, May 6 as A Day of Prayer in Grafton.
She read, “The National Day of Prayer is an opportunity for Americans of all faiths to join in united prayer to acknowledge our dependence on God, to give thanks for blessings received, to request healing for wounds endured and to ask God to guide our leaders and bring wholeness to the United States and her citizens.”
The proclamation went on to state that it was fitting and proper for the community to give thanks to God, by observing a day of prayer in Grafton, which would lend a time to come together to thank him for all he has given.
“It is a time when all may acknowledge our blessings and express gratitude for them, while recognizing the need for strengthening religious and moral values in our community, state and nation,” Willis expressed.
During the event, citizens were asked to pray for the nation, churches, families, governments, media, arts and entertainment, business and schools.
Prayers were led by Dickey, representing the Encounter Worship Center, who prayed for America and government, while Pastor Christopher Dickey of the Encounter Worship Center prayed for business and education.
Additionally, Encounter Worship Center’s Pam Boyce led prayers for media and the arts and entertainment platforms, Simon Shingleton, representing New Season Assembly of God led a prayer for churches and Amanda Shingleton wrapped up with prayers for families.
Before guests departed, F. Dickey showered blessing upon all in attendance saying, “thank you all for coming and may God bless you all!”