by Linda Burris
Pastor Chuck Griffith welcomed the hundreds of people gathered together in the heart of Kokomo, IN who had come to pray to God for their city, county and nation; for their families; for their schools and churches; and, for law and justice.
Griffith is a member of the Howard County National Day of Prayer Committee which organized the event, held on Thursday, May 3 at 12 noon on the east side of the courthouse.
Roads were blocked off while people listened to and sang praise music, heard exhortations to call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and prayed en masse.
Mayor Greg Goodnight issued a stirring proclamation, as follows:
WHEREAS, our nation was founded by men and women who recognized the value of religious freedom and the expression of that freedom through prayer; and,
WHEREAS, prayer is regarded by millions as an integral part of the expression of religion; and,
WHEREAS, prayer has strengthened and aided us in times of thanksgiving as well as grieving; and,
WHEREAS, across our land today Americans are united in prayer for our nation, and their respective communities, as a way of securing and fortifying our nation, states and cities; and,
WHEREAS, this, the 60th Annual National Day of Prayer, focuses on the hope that prayer brings us, allowing us to carry on and accomplish the tasks that life puts before us, while knowing that better times are on the way; and,
WHEREAS, the theme of this Day is best embodied in Psalm 33:12, “Blessed is the Nation whose God is the Lord.”
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GREG GOODNIGHT, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF KOKOMO, INDIANA, do now declare Thursday, May 3, 2012, as a “DAY OF PRAYER”
in the City of Kokomo, Indiana, and invite all residents to seek the face of Almighty God to offer us hope and direct our paths in the days and years ahead.
DONE UNDER MY HAND, WITH THE GREAT SEAL OF THE CITY OF KOKOMO, INDIANA ATTACHED THIS 3RD DAY OF MAY 2012. GREG GOODNIGHT, MAYOR, CITY OF KOKOMO, INDIANA
Pastor Keith Treadway of Bible Baptist Church gave a thought-provoking message, reminding all in attendance that ‘we must be calling the right number in prayer…John 3:16′. Treadway said that we can not call the wrong number and expect the right results; we must be calling on the God of the Bible manifested to us through Jesus Christ.
Following are the pastor’s notes:
Text: Psalm 33
Proposition: If America wants the blessing of God, American must get connected back to God.
The Psalmist gives to us 3 ways to get and stay connected to God.
First: Make sure you are dialing the right number.
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”
The only number that Heaven answers to is J-O-H-N 3-1-6 ( a personal relationship with Jesus Christ)
Second: Remove anything that disrupts your signal to God.
“No king is saved by the size of his army…”
-personal efforts and strength do not open lines of communication to God
-sin disrupts any signal with God
-repent and return to God
Third: Walk by Faith (33:20-22)
A faithful walk is one that waits: a spirit of dependence upon God (20)
A faithful walk is on that rejoices: a spirit of worship to God (21)
A faithful walk is one that hopes: a spirit of trust in God (22)
Conclusion: 236 years ago America declared independence from England. On this day, May 3rd, 2012, let America come together for another declaration, a full and complete declaration of our dependence upon God. For the blessing of God will only come to America, when America is connected to God. “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.”
Randy McCracken, Superintendent of the Western School Corporation, prayed as follows:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for this day and the opportunity to come to you in prayer. I pray God for your presence in our schools to stop the drug and alcohol use, the violence, the bullying, and the sexual activity. Lord, schools are a reflection of the community we live in; please make our schools safe places for children to learn and to gain the knowledge and values needed to change the world.
Dear God, thank you for public education and what it stands for, the opportunity that every child can receive a quality education. Lord, instill in our children the importance of a good education, because an education creates opportunities to change environments and to prevent poverty, homelessness, and hunger.
Dear God, be with our parents, so that every child has the support at home that is needed for success. Help the parents to instill values in their children and the desire to be lifelong learners. I pray Lord that every child receives the gift of literacy, and for all children to have parents that read to them, nurture them, and support them in all that they do.
Dear God, be with our educators. Bless the teachers and those that have a positive influence on our children every day. Give them the strength and wisdom to provide the instruction that can change lives, level the playing field, and give every child the opportunity to grow and to achieve to his or her full potential.
Dear God, be with our principals, administrators and School Boards, giving them the support, the resources and the authority to create positive learning environments. Lord, help them to create an atmosphere where every child is equal, every child matters, and every child can succeed.
Dear God, be with our legislators and law makers, help them to realize that education is not about competition between schools and businesses making a profit, but it is about providing the resources that all schools need so the students profit.
Dear God, be with our ministers and churches as they spread Your word. Give them the power to influence the morals of this community. Lord, help them to help us understand that we are one Nation under You, and that we need You in every walk of our lives, including our schools.
Dear God, I remember a plaque that my mom had in the kitchen when I was a kid that said, “Where there is God, there is no need”. Lord, we need Your influence, power and wisdom in all that we do.
Please be with us always.
In your Son’s name we pray, Amen
Rob Hoshaw, Principal of the Acacia Academy, dressed in period costume as George Washington. This was an important reminder to all present that our country’s heritage is based on Christian principals. Students from Acacia led in the Pledge of Allegiance and sang America the Beautiful.
Hoshaw’s prayer was as follows:
From William J. Johnson, George Washington, The Christian (New York: The Abingdon Press, 1919).
Almighty God, and most merciful father, who didst command the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day, receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee; I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor. Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do mine own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou requirest of me, and since thou art a God of pure eyes, and wilt be sanctified in all who draw near unto thee, who doest not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts, pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense; and as thou wouldst hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus. Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou has sent it. Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Other participants in the National Day of Prayer are included in the images below.
Gail Ambrose (bottom left) and Eddie Johnson (bottom right picture) were two of the members of the Howard County National Day of Prayer Committee. Other members included: Bev Broeker, Sondra Bush, Chuck Griffith, Darlene Krieger, Crystal Sanburn, Phyllis Jean Smith and Van Taylor.
Howard County Commissioner Tyler Moore (center) participated in the National Day of Prayer in Kokomo, IN. Crystal Sanburn, a member of the Howard County National Day of Prayer Committee, is also pictured just to the left of Moore; she is wearing a sun visor and pink shirt.
Van Taylor, Executive Director of the Kokomo Rescue Mission and a member of the Howard County National Day of Prayer Committee, is pictured above in the left photo, and on the far right in a blue shirt. He is seated next to his daughter Susanna.