LAURINBURG — A cross section of Scotland County — clergy members, local law enforcement elected leaders, merchants and regular folks — came together Thursday to lift up the community in prayer at National Prayer Day observance.
The theme for this year’s event was “For your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us…Forgive Us… Heal Us!” The accompanying scripture was Daniel 9:19.
Rev. Essie Davis welcomed the 70 attendees to the event at the Scotland County Courthouse. Laurinburg Mayor Matthew Block opened the event by reading the city’s National Day of Prayer Proclamation.
Block said the day was “an opportunity for Americans of all faiths to join in united prayer to acknowledge our dependence on God.”
Twelve pastors from different denominations offered up prayers for the needs of the country and Scotland County. Prayers were said for: salvation, church, family, education, military, media, business, human trafficking, the president and world leaders, government, youth, and the incarcerated.
The Rev. Brett Davis prayed for the education system.
“The future of this nation is sitting behind a desk in the school system right now,” Davis said as he asked God to touch school leaders and decision makers from Washington to Scotland County.
Rev. Michael Edds prayed for business noting the jobs and business lost in the county since the economic downturn. Edds used the story of the Prophet Elijah in the book of I Kings.
“Scotland County is in an economic drought; Elijah faced a physical drought like we face today,” Edds said. “Elijah prayed 6 times as he went up on the mountain.”
Edds told the crowd that Elijah met a young man who saw a rain cloud rising out of the sea.
“I believe that there’s a cloud rising on Laurinburg and prosperity is to come,” Edds said.
Rev. Darrel B.J. Gibson prayed for the youth of the county.
Gibson told the crowd that every time a young person has a problem, adults should consider it their problem and not give up on the youth of today.
Gibson said parenthood had changed his views on young people.
“Being a parent myself, my vision for young people has grown and the burden that lies on my heart is heavy,” Gibson said following the service.
Gibson was pleased with the turnout and hoped that the meeting would help unify all denominations as one body.
When asked about the division that has grown among Christians and other faiths in the past few years Gibson said that it was disappointing and that people of all religions should not be afraid to reach out to one another.
“We have to make an effort to ensure that we open our arms and reach out to all God’s children and invite them to come to the table,” Gibson said.
People need to accept that others have different faiths and open their hearts to get to know them in Gibson’s opinion.
“One of the things that we are supposed to do is love all mankind whether they act like us or believe as we believe, we’re supposed to love them,” Gibson said. “A lot of that comes down to a lack of leadership; we get into our own worlds and feel like things should have to be like we want them.”
A majority of participants agreed that “coming together in unity” and across denominations was a boost to the community and doing so is favored by God.
“When we get together on any one thing there is nothing we can’t do; this nation is in dire need of prayer,” said Annie Cureton a member of Jones Chapel Church.
In 1952 The National Day of Prayer was designated as a yearly commemoration, and in 1988 the law was changed to set the first Thursday in May to mark the event.
The first national day of prayer was recognized in 1775 when the Continental Congress set aside the day to pray for guidance in creating the US Government.
Local coordinators have extended the event through Saturday when they will host the National Day of Prayer Breakfast at 9 a.m. at Cross Pointe Church on US 401. The keynote speaker is Pastor Fallon Procter, National Day of Prayer North Carolina State Coordinator of Fayetteville.
To reserve a seat contact, Rev Essie Davis 910-361-6384 or Mary Evans 910-373-1203.
Reach Beth Lawrence 910-3169