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Activities planned for Day of Prayer

National and area leaders are issuing a call to prayer Thursdayas the country recognizes the 54th annual National Day ofPrayer.

The day will be acknowledged as citizens flock to observancesheld in public venues to pray for the nation, governmental leaders,media and schools. This year’s National Day of Prayer theme is “GodShed His Grace on Thee” and is based on Hebrews 4:16, “Let us thenapproach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receivemercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

The National Day of Prayer tradition predates the founding ofthe United States when the Continental Congress issued aproclamation setting aside a day of prayer in 1775. In 1952,Congress established an annual day of prayer and, in 1988, that lawwas amended, designating the National Day of Prayer as the firstThursday in May.

The local ceremony will start around noon at the Lincoln CountyGovernment Complex. Residents are invited to bring a sack lunch andspend their lunch hour praying for the national headquarters’ fivepoints of prayer – government, media, education, church andfamily.

“We hope all our citizens will come out and take time duringtheir lunch to come together. It’s important for the entirecommunity to gather for prayer,” said the Rev. Jerry Durr, localcoordinator of the event.

With so much turmoil in today’s society, Durr and other areapastors said it is vital that residents pray corporately as well asin their homes.

“We really should be praying on a daily basis. We need prayer asas hedge around us,” said Durr. “We need to bathe ourselves inprayer.”

First Baptist Pastor Greg Warnock agreed, saying this is a callto all the citizens of Lincoln County, regardless of theirbackgrounds, to pray.

“It’s a call from our founders who built this nation on prayer,our president for us to pray during this time of war and from ourchildren, who are looking to us for guidance,” Warnock said.

The Rev. Talmadge Smith, of the Lincoln County BaptistAssociation, said the city has been conducting a local prayerobservance for at least 15 years. He said now is the perfect timefor area residents to pray following the recent Lincoln CountyCelebration, in which there were 534 professions of faith.

“We need to seek God and His way. He calls His people torepentance and revival,” Smith said. “We’ve got to be thelead.”

Leaders said they hope residents will leave Thursday’s servicehaving sensed a unifying presence that comes from God an a need topray together on a regular basis.

“When people see us praying together, hopefully it will remindus that we’re all called to live together, too,” Warnock said.