Church holds early prayer

Published 10:07 pm Friday, February 5, 2016

Some days, the sun hasn’t peeked over the Chuckatuck Creek before Ebenezer United Methodist Church’s doors open.

The church, at 1589 Steeple Drive in Eclipse, holds morning prayer services from 6 to 6:30 a.m. Wednesdays.

The early morning services are one of three weekly prayer services the church offers, according to the Rev. Carl LeMon, pastor at Ebenezer. The church also holds prayer services from 7 to 7:55 p.m. Wednesdays and from 1 to 2 p.m. Tuesdays.

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“We’re trying to meet people where they are … and to make it easier for them to come together in prayer,” LeMon said. “We wanted to make sure people had time to come here and still be at work by 7 a.m. One reason we picked this time was to catch the shipyard crowd.

“Sometimes, it’s just one or two people, sometimes more,” he said. “I do have faithful people who have given themselves to the ministry of prayer.”

The Wednesday services are not like typical Sunday services, LeMon said. Usually, the group sings a cappella; prays, aloud or silently, it’s up to the individual; and ends with the Lord’s Prayer.

“It’s an opportunity to talk to God and listen for his response,” LeMon said. “We need to make prayer a priority in our lives.”

Two years ago, LeMon toured Korea with a delegation from the Virginia United Methodist Church. He returned home, inspired by his trip and by Virginia United Methodist Bishop Young Jin Cho’s spiritual challenge to make prayer a priority.

“Every morning, every day of the week, a third of their congregation (of 2,000 people) came to church for prayer,” said LeMon. “I was blown away.”

LeMon believes the mid-week services have helped increase prayer among his congregation.

“As much as anything, it has increased awareness,” he said. “There is strength in numbers.

“If we are a congregation of prayers, this is good.”