Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

May 1, 2014

Many locals will observe the National Day of Prayer

TAHLEQUAH — Prayer is a personal expression of faith. Even a child can tell God what is in her heart.

It can be a prayer of thankfulness, a conversation with God, or asking God for help. It can be done while driving the car, in a favorite inspirational location, or kneeling beside the bed at night.

Today is National Day of Prayer, and a local observance is being held at Norris Park, between noon and 1 p.m., hosted by the Cherokee County Christian Ministerial Alliance. The event is called “One Voice United In Prayer.”

The 2014 National Observance of the National Day of Prayer will be broadcast live from the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C., on the www.nationaldayofprayer.org website, Thursday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to noon. The mission of the National Day of Prayer Task Force is “to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture.”

“Ultimately, it’s a time for people to come together and thank the Lord and ask for his help, praying for the nation and his people, for the government, the troops, the things the Bible tells us to pray for,” said Geoff Brown, pastor of Grace Baptist. “[It’s a time to pray] for people who persecute us, the suffering, that our love would abound more and more with others.”

Brown encourages people to attend.

“Mayor [Jason] Nichols will make a proclamation, we’ll have music, and one thing we’re doing different this year is praying in small groups instead of having silent prayer and pray together with area pastors and elders,” said Brown.

It’s a neat opportunity to have more people praying, said Brown.

“We’re really excited about this,” he said. “It’s an annual event and we look forward to people coming out and praying together.”

Park Hill Baptist Pastor John Lee believes prayer is always a good thing.

“We come together and we unite with the goals for the community,” said Lee. “It’s our responsibility as people of faith, as Christians. The idea of churches participating together is a good thing. We seek him in regard to all areas of life in our own community. We desire his help and strength and blessings on our people who make up the community, service men and women, public servants, leaders and the economy.”

Jay Jones, pastor at Abundant Life Fellowship, sees this as an opportunity for people to agree in faith and set aside different viewpoints.

“It’s important for us, as Christians, to lay down some of the barriers that stand between us through different beliefs and to stand united and pray together,” said Jones.

In the past, Cookson United Methodist has coordinated a “Meet At the Pole” event at Keys High School, said Pastor Rudy Freese.

“Our youth pastor has done this, but she’s no longer here,” Freese said. “I think this is a great opportunity clear across the county to join together and pray in unity. Sometimes we take prayer for granted.”

People who can’t or don’t choose to come to the local event can join in the hour of prayer from their homes or during their lunch break.

Mindy Hendrix teachers her three children to pray by praying with them. She believes it’s important for them to know they can talk to God. Children instinctively pray through silent language of the heart, said Hendrix.

“I try not to interfere too much with my children’s prayers, other than teaching them to listen to their heart/brain, which is their direct path to God,” she said. “Children are taught too young to get out of their hearts and into their heads.

Connecting to nature, animals and people, truly connecting, helps people strengthen their ability to live a lives of prayer, Hendrix said.

“Elli likes to pray for her animals,” said Hendrix of her 5-year-old daughter. “And we pray before our meal.”

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