04/27/14 — County, city will join in prayer May 1 at Y

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County, city will join in prayer May 1 at Y

By Becky Barclay
Published in News on April 27, 2014 1:50 AM

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A member of First Pentecostal Holiness Church's Mission M-25 team holds a flag, along with other M-25 members, outside the Paramount Theatre during last year's National Day of Prayer.

Wayne County residents will gather as one to pray for everyone from their children to their countrymen to their world leaders during this year's National Day of Prayer.

The event will be held Thursday, May 1, at 7 p.m. at the Family Y,  a change in venue from last year when it was held at the Paramount Theatre.

"We'll reach more people having it at the Y," task force member Linda Meyer said. "Since this truly is something for our whole nation and our whole families, this is a good setting to have the event in."

Another change this year is, instead of having two events -- one for adults and one for youths -- there will be one combined event for both.

"But we're going to do a special prayer session for the youths," Mrs. Meyer said. "There will be a special song for the youths, too, that will be played. We will be there encouraging the youths. Hopefully they will see that we as adults really pray for them, particularly in this country."

Starting things off will be local singer/songwriter Nicholas Cole with gathering music.

After a congregational hymn, Rabbi Albert Madison will do a call to prayer. There will be an opening speech by Mayor Al King, then a presentation by a color guard.

The speaker will be Chaplain Dwayne Keener, wing chaplain at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Local community leaders will do prayers in several areas, including federal government, state government, local government, military, media, business, education, church, family and youths.

"This year we're going to focus on II Chronicles 7:14 where God tells his people if they will humble themselves and turn away from their wicked ways, repent and seek his face, he will come and forgive their sin and heal the land," Mrs. Meyer said.

"I think we've gotten away from God as a nation today. It's very sorrowful when we see the fact that the nation has turned away from what the founding fathers did. And there's history to prove this nation was founded on God. It's in our Constitution. It's on our money."

She said National Day of Prayer is a call for repentance, a wake up call to come as individuals, as families, as churches, as counties, as states and as nations to beg for God's mercy.

Minister D.J. Coles, task force member, said it's important to come together as a community, as one voice and one body.

"The Bible tells us to do that," he said. "This is us standing up, standing firm like the Bible tells us to do, not getting weak, and saying we need to pray. Prayer is the best thing you can do. It's open communication between us and our God to say, 'Father this is what's going on and we need you to intercede, we need your strength, we need your comfort.' That's what we as Wayne County and Goldsboro are going to do."

This is Wayne County's fourth National Day of Prayer. The event has been going on, though, since the first call to prayer in 1775 by the Continental Congress. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual National Day of Prayer. The law was amended in 1988 by President Reagan, permanently making the first Thursday of every May as National Day of Prayer.

This year's theme is "Once Voice United in Prayer."

"I hope people leave there really acknowledging the need and the importance of prayer -- and prayer without ceasing," Coles said. "The Bible says prayer without ceasing, that we will continually pray for one another in our work environment, in our schools, for our doctors, for our spouses, for our children. That there will be a continual bathing of prayer not only over our county, but also over our world. We really do need it.

"There are a lot of people who are suffering and they go to a lot of resources except the most powerful one -- God."

The event is free. Afterward, those who would like to be prayed with will have the opportunity to meet with someone at a designated spot.