A Day for Praying

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 3, 2006

They came to pray for their country and their community. Area residents gathered Thursday afternoon at the Ironton City Center in observance of the 55th annual National Day of Prayer.

In his opening remarks, Dr. Wayne Young, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Ironton, read II Chronicles 7:14: “If my people who are called by my name would humble themselves, and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”

As he prayed for the nation, Young said Americans are frequently reminded that God has been good to America and has blessed it in many ways. But as he prayed, he also noted “We recognize that as a nation, we have not been as good to you as you have been to us.”

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And he asked for God’s forgiveness for this country.

In praying for our churches and our community, The Rev. Jim Cremeans, retired director of the City Welfare Mission, talked about how religion can bring people of different faiths together.

“In our community there are many churches and many denominations. Sometimes we do not always agree on everything, but we have the truth of thy word that draws us together as the body of Christ.”

But he noted also that though Lawrence County has a plethora of churches, some of them are not always full on Sunday mornings, as many within the community do not worship anywhere at all. He prayed for local leaders and for economic prosperity for the community as well.

The Rev. Jeff Cremeans, who has succeeded his father at the city mission, thanked God for the blessing of free education for all, but noted these days public education was not what it used to be.

“We recognize in the land of the free and home of the brave, schools are drifting away from you,” he said. He prayed for God’s love and compassion for families as well.

In praying for those who are needy and or suffering, The Rev. Anthony Batt, associate pastor for St. Joseph and St. Lawrence O’Toole Catholic churches, prayed for those who are in nursing homes, hospitals and who are home bound as well as those who are suffering in other situations. He also prayed for those who suffer from economic deprivation.

“In this great nation, the greatest on Earth, there are still those who are needy, who do not have the material wealth others enjoy,” he prayed. … “We pray for all those, the least in your community, those who are suffering, those who are needy. In this great nation, they are the ones who are sometimes forgotten.”

Sponsored locally by the Ironton Area Ministerial Association, the National Day of Prayer is an annual observance meant to bring together people of all faiths to seek God’s help in not only their own lives but their communities. It is one of several community-wide interfaith events throughout the year.