Community members take part in event praying for the nation

Fleeta Dickey welcomes residents and guests to this year’s National Day of Prayer observance held at the International Mother’s Day Shrine Plaza. (Nicki Skinner/Mountain Statesman)

GRAFTON—Many would probably agree that we are living in perilous times, and now more than ever is a time to pray for guidance from God. 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 was recognized locally at the International Mother’s Day Shrine on Thursday, May 5, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The theme for this year’s event was “Exalt The Lord Who Has Established Us.”

“This the theme of the evening can be found in Colossians 2:6-8 which says, ‘Therefore as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving,’” voiced Fleeta Dickey, local National Day of Prayer organizer and Grafton Aglow Community Lighthouse President.

To begin the local celebration, guests were invited to worship the Lord through song, before Dickey 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.”

Following opening remarks, she recited an official proclamation declaring Thursday, May 5 as A Day of Prayer in Grafton, as recognized by the Grafton City Council.

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 Aglow International, who prayed for government and churches, and fellow Aglow International member Laura Davis led the group in prayer for the United States military.

Pastor Christopher Dickey of the Encounter Worship Center prayed for education Pastor Rick Kerns, from Pleasant Creek Church, provided a quick and to-the-point prayer that Christians will begin to speak up for what is right and good in the world, and Patty Poling, representing Aglow International, prayed over families, followed by F. Dickey’s prayers for business.

To end the night of prayer, New Season Assembly of God Pastor Paula Jefferies ask for guidance in concern with arts, entertainment and the media.

Worship for the night was led by C. Dickey and included four songs.

Before guests departed, she showered blessing upon all in attendance saying, “thank you all for coming and may God bless you all!”

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.

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