The Pryor Times

Opinion

April 30, 2013

National Day of Prayer coming Thursday

Across the Second District and our nation, citizens and community leaders will gather on May 2 for the National Day of Prayer. This is a wonderful event to remind us that it is God, not us, in control of the circumstances facing us as a nation and as individuals.

The National Day of Prayer Task Force has chosen Matthew 12:21 as this year’s Scripture verse. It says, “In His name the nations will put their hope.”

This nation needs God; and it needs more and more people asking God to move in a mighty way to grant our leaders wisdom, to bring peace to a conflicted world and to bring healing to those who are hurting.

Through their vote, the people of the Second District placed their trust in me to make the best decisions for our families, our state and our nation. I recognize and respect the profoundness of that responsibility.

One of my favorite things to hear from people is that they are praying for me. I am grateful to know that others are praying for me. I pray for our district every day as well. And I pray for God’s counsel and grace as I make decisions affecting our country. I know I cannot properly fulfill the responsibility of serving the people of our district and our state without every day seeking and listening to God.

I asked several pastors from the Second District to weigh in on the importance and nature of prayer in America.

Kerry Mauldin, a missionary and evangelist who travels frequently to churches throughout the Second District said God moves in answer to prayer.

“I think prayer is the most important tool that we have,” Mauldin said. “Prayer is what makes things happen. We have to pray – for our leaders, for our country…for everything. Prayer is that important.”

Prayer is communication with God. It can be about asking for help, but as your prayer life develops it also becomes about how you can bless God today, Mauldin said.

Conrad Barrett, senior pastor at Christian Chapel in Muskogee says Christians should pray often for themselves, others, our nation and the world.

“Through prayer, special strength, wisdom and guidance can be achieved,” Barrett said. “Whenever we say “let us pray” it is a directive toward that which is right and such a directive is needed in our time.”

Pastor Bill Ledbetter of Fairview Baptist Church in Durant said we must recognize God’s supreme authority in all affairs of men and nations.

“Should we not at this time pause and take stock of the truth that we have removed God from public reliance, and brought the shedding of innocent blood and immorality into the mainstream of American life?” Ledbetter said. “Since it is only the nation whose God is the Lord that is supremely blessed, we must pause and call for public humility, fasting, and prayer in order to repent of our sins, to seek God’s mercy through Jesus Christ our Lord, knowing that true confession will bring forgiveness and a return of blessing.”

One of the many things I love about being an Oklahoman is we’re not ashamed about talking about prayer or praying in public. I love being in a restaurant and seeing families with heads bowed, saying a blessing over their meal. You just don’t see that everywhere in this country, but you do in our state.

The only way to learn to pray is practice. I encourage you to make time any time of day for prayer, but particularly as Americans, let’s all be sure that we pray for our nation and our leaders.

There is the very gift of life, the wondrous beauty in nature, the creativity of the human mind and resiliency of people, among the many things to thank God for every day.

There is also turmoil, sin and trouble in this world. And often it seems as if challenges come one after the other. But there is one solid rock of foundation and one thing that will always give us solace in the storms of life – prayer.

Let us collectively put our hope in Him.

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