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Prayers lifted for community, state, nation

“I hope you noticed that while we were praying, you could hearthe flags flapping in the wind,” said Betty Harrington, as shestood with her friend Jimmie Sistrunk after Brookhaven’s Day ofPrayer at the Government Complex.

“It’s almost as if they were giving their support,” Sistrunksaid of the flags.

And it was. The flags flew full in the warm breeze as citizensof Brookhaven and Lincoln County joined on the front steps at theLincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex Thursday at noon.

Prayers went up for the government those flags represent, aswell as for the soldiers who fight for the star-spangled banner.Local leaders implored God to protect the family unit in ourcountry, as well as to bolster the education system, business andthe economy, churches nationwide, and the media.

“Let Your love help us endure these trials, these tests,” saidthe Rev. Jerry Durr. “And move away from us any thought ofiniquity, any thought of transgression, any thought that is not ofYou.”

Rev. Ross Hightower reminded local parishioners of their duty tolive for Christ every day in his prayer for the churches.

“Let us point to you in such a way that people will know notabout ourselves,” he said. “But that they will know that You diedto save sinners like me, sinners like them. Let it not be a placewhere we smile and shake hands and then go home and ignoreYou.”

Dr. Phillip Hamilton lifted up not only the education systems inthe state, but those who have to make decisions that affect thestudents of Mississippi.

“We’re gathered concerned about our education system,” he said.”We’ve had programs cut, funds reduced, and the governor has had tomake some hard decisions. Whether we always agree with him or not,we pray that You would give him wisdom.”

Lincoln County Chancery Clerk Tillmon Bishop also lifted up aprayer for the branches of the government, local, state andnational.

“Be with our president, and may the decisions he makes glorifyand honor You,” Bishop said. “Give him strength and integrity tohonor You.”

And the military was also a focus, with the Rev. Owen Kingwearing his fatigues to the event to represent all the troopsserving America both at home and abroad.

“We pray for them this day, because they are at the far ends ofthe earth, some in places of discomfort and grief,” he said. “Letthem know that the people of this great nation are praying forthem. Let them know not one soldier is alone.”

Meanwhile, the weak economic situation nationwide was alsolifted up. The Rev. Billy Joe Deer asked for wisdom and hope forthe business owners of Brookhaven.

“We ask for wisdom and guidance to do things that are morallyright, we ask that You would help us to make a profit and helpothers,” he said.

And because it affects so much of the outlook and mood of thecountry, B92 personality Patrick Porter brought the media up forprayer.

“Help us to lift others up, and not be a negative in society,”he said. “Give us wisdom and knowledge to report events in apositive way.”

Those who gathered for the event said they felt like it was agood experience, and that they’re grateful to be a part of acommunity that allows prayer on the steps of its governmentbuildings.

“We believe in this,” said Winnie Smith of Brookhaven. “We comeevery year.”