Service marks National Day of Prayer locally

by Nicole Stokes

Franklin Countians gathered on Thursday, May 4 at the Meadville Baptist Church’s Fellowship Hall to take part in this year’s National Day of Prayer activities.

The theme was “Pray Fervently in Righteousness and Avail Much,” from James 5:16.

After refreshments were served and music was provided by the Landmark Trio, Meadville Mayor Lane B. Reed introduced Brother Jessie Givens, pastor of Franklin County’s Landmark United Pentecostal Church, to open the event with prayer for government leaders and the military.

“Lord Jesus, we gather today to ask Your hand to be upon our leaders and elected officials, whether it be national, state or here at the local level,” Givens began.

“I pray that Your wisdom would be in their decision-making. I pray a humbleness in their spirits that they would recognize that they need You, that it would drive them to seek Your face in every decision, both great and small.

“I pray understanding for the issues of today that we face, and in the times that we live in — perilous times in our land, Lord, but I pray that Your hand would reach down to touch and minister.

“I pray that you would give us men as what the men of Issachar were, that they would be men of understanding and women of understanding that would know what Your people need to do, and the people of this land. Lead and guide us, Lord.

“I pray for our government. While we understand the election process, we understand that without You no king is set up, so I pray that Your hand would be on each and every one to minister and to lead and guide.

“I pray for our military. Bless those that serve, that give of themselves for their country. I pray for their families, that you would bless them and minister to them and through them, to keep your hand upon them, Lord.”

The Rev. Calvin Cosnahan of Meadville Methodist Church prayed for churches and families.

“We thank You, Lord, for Your gifts of family — husband, wife, children and extended family — and we thank You for our church family,” Cosnahan said.

“A house divided against itself can’t stand, therefore, Lord, we pray that You, in the power of Your Holy Spirit, would unite us in spirit and love, so that the world would know that You sent Your Son into the world, and love us as You loved Him, You in Him and He in us.

“We pray for a love that is sincere, a love that hates evil and clings to what is good. That we would be devoted to one another and honor one another above ourselves.

“Pour into us Your spiritual zeal and fervor, to serve You, Lord. Help us to be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer, that we share with others who are in need and practice hospitality.

“Lord, we pray that in our family and church relationships our love will exemplify patience and kindness. (We pray for) a love that is not envious, boastful or proud. That our love would not dishonor others, nor be self-seeking, nor easily angered.

“To the contrary, our love would rejoice in the truth, always protect, always trust, always hope and always persevere. Lord, we pray that such love will never fail.”

Brother Larry Edwards of Praise Cathedral Church of God prayed for the media, and Brother Herman Aldridge prayed over the local and national education systems.

Brother Keith Smith of Meadville Baptist Church then closed the event with thanks to those who provided refreshments as well as those involved in the gathering, and said a word of prayer over the businesses in the community.
“Father God, we come before You, thanking You first and foremost that we have used the gifts and talents that You’ve given to us, not to bring glory and honor to is, but that You have given us those gifts and talents that we’re able to supply what we need in order to take care of our families,” he said.

“Father I pray today (for) each and every business that is represented here today and the ones that were not able to be here.

“We pray that they would realize that (they have) a gift, something You’ve placed within them, and I pray that we would be able to recognize that You have given them the wisdom to be where they are now, Father.

“And I pray right now that You would continue each and every day as they come to work, that You would give them the protection, that You would give them the things that they need in order not just to make a day, but Father to make a difference right here in this community.

“Father, I pray that — as we have had a wonderful day together — that as we go back to our places of work, whether it’s a small business whatever it may be, that we as a body lift one another up in prayer, knowing that we need You more than anything else.

“We need Your guidance in each and every thing. And Father we take the gifts and the talents that You give to us, and we say, ‘Here it is Father, may You be glorified.’

“Every person here today I pray for them as they go back. I pray, Lord, that as they leave this place that You would give them traveling mercies, and that You would bless them throughout the day.

“Father, we love You, we thank You for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and it’s in His name that we pray. Amen.”