By James Beaty
The National Day of Prayer is today, with activities set in McAlester and Hartshorne in conjunction with the nationwide event.
This year’s theme is taken from Matthew 12:21: “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
The first National Day of Prayer came prior to the founding of the United States, with the Continental Congress setting aside a day of prayer and fasting in 1775.
Congress later established a National Day of Prayer in 1952, then later amended the law to set the National Day of Prayer as the first Thursday in May — a time set aside for the people of the nation to come together and pray.
At Hartshorne, local churches have announced that those who want to participate in the National Day of Prayer should gather at City Hall at noon Thursday.
In McAlester, the First Baptist Church, at the corner of Second Street and Washington Avenue, is opening its doors to the community throughout the day Thursday for those who want to participate in the National Day of Prayer.
“Our church is going to offer a Journey of Prayer in our sanctuary, for anyone who would like to come and pray, from 7 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.,” said Linda Lowber, director of Adult Education and Assimilation at the church.
The sanctuary will be open to everyone, not just members of the church, she said.
“We’re setting up stations around our sanctuary,” Lowber said, relating what the Journey of Prayer entails.
Different stations will be set up where individuals can pray in different areas, such as offering prayers for the community, nation, family and churches, she said.
Stations will consist of a desk, some chairs and informational items, according to Lowber.
“It’s going to focus on different things you’d like to pray for,” Lowber said. A journal will be set up at each station where individuals can write prayer requests or record their thoughts, she said
Individuals can offer their own prayers and go through the stations as slowly or quickly as they like .
“Each station is numbered and you can follow the numbers,” Lowber said.
“This is put together through our Intercessory Prayer Committee.”
Shirley Dobson, who is married to Family Talk Chairman Dr. James Dobson, is the National Day of Prayer Task Force chairman.
“The American people continue to be plagued with challenges that defy simple answers , and our hope lies in humbly seeking the Almighty’s guidance, protection and blessing — not only on the National Day of Prayer, but throughout the year,” she said in a statement through the National Day of Prayer Task Force.
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