LAURINBURG — The National Day of Prayer will be celebrated at two locations in Laurinburg this year.
A service at the flagpole at the Scotland County Courthouse on Biggs Street will begin at noon on Thursday. An additional service will be held this year at 1 p.m. at the three crosses on the Hill at First United Methodist Church facing Main Street.
Organizers said the day is an opportunity for the public to pray for God’s intervention on behalf of communities, states and the nation. All are invited and urged to participate.
“Our community has so many needs that we can’t afford not to ask God to intercede on our behalf,” said Dr. Jonathan Jeffries, pastor of First United Methodist Church. “Lack of jobs in this economy, our schools, the rampant increase in drug use, poverty and hunger are all needs in our community.”
Well-known national pastor Dr. Tony Evans, 2016 National Day of Prayer honorary chairman, wrote the Prayer for the Nation, which will be spoken in unison across the country.
“The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths,” reads part of the prayer, “no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.”
The theme for this year’s national event is Wake Up America and features the scripture Isaiah 58:1: “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.”
“This recitation will create a huge wave of prayer, flowing from one coast to the other, illustrating the unity of God’s people and acknowledging His dominion over the circumstances facing us,” according to national event organizers.
In addition to prayers for Laurinburg, North Carolina and America, prayers for groups may include the government, judiciary, military, media, business, education, the church and families.
The National Day of Prayer is an annual observance held on the first Thursday of May, inviting people of all faiths to pray for the nation. It was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.
According to the National Day of Prayer Taskforce “the National Day of Prayer has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.”