Participate in changing things

Published 9:15 pm Monday, April 16, 2012

With the economy stuck in the doldrums, race relations at a modern low point and the general demeanor of public discourse stuck in the gutter, there’s plenty for Americans to pray about.

On May 3, many Americans will do just that, taking part in events around the nation that are connected to the National Day of Prayer. Congressmen and senators will join representatives from the Obama administration on Capitol Hill. State legislators and governors will bow their heads together in statehouses around the nation. Churches will open their doors for congregants and others to join the effort. And — perhaps most important — average people of many different Judeo-Christian heritages will gather in public parks, around public flagpoles and in public buildings to lift their voices in supplication to the God of creation.

They will pray for elected leaders at the national, state and local levels, they will pray for healing of the various rifts in the social fabric of the United States of America. They will pray for the nation’s men and women in the military and for those who serve here at home in police forces, fire departments and rescue squads. They will pray for wisdom and courage, for forgiveness and grace, for deliverance and humility.

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The Continental Congress issued the first call to prayer in 1775, asking citizens to pray for wisdom in forming the nation. Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of “humiliation, fasting and prayer in 1863.” And Congress passed a joint resolution in 1952 setting an annual day of prayer around the nation.

On May 3, for the 28th year, Suffolk will join the rest of the nation as people head to the National Guard Armory for the Suffolk Leadership Prayer Breakfast. There will be a speaker and musical entertainment, though organizers of the event never announce the identities of the guests in advance. Leaders from the city of Suffolk, Virginia and the federal government are all expected to be in attendance.

Prayer changes things. You can participate in that change right here at home. Tickets are still available for the Suffolk event. To purchase a ticket, visit the Hillpoint Branch of Farmers Bank, located at 3100 Godwin Blvd., or call 242-6111.