City, nation mark 56th day of praise

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 5, 2007

Greenvillians marked the 56th Annual National Day of Prayer in a fitting manner - with a prayer service at noon on the steps of City Hall.

Attendees gathered beneath shade trees and settled on benches in the midday heat to hear the words of members of the Greenville Ministerial Association (GMA).

Father Fred Lindstrom of St. Thomas Episcopal Church; Rev. Tim Patton of First Baptist Church of Greenville; Leander and Lois Robinson of Covenant Warriors; Rev. Allen Stephenson of FBC of Georgiana; Annette Tomley, representing Rev. Lane Simmons of Greenville's First Assembly of God; Evangelist Carolyn Griffin of Warrior Ministries; Prophet Darren White of Kingdom of God International Ministries and Rev. Jim Helms of Call to Life Ministries came together as a cross-section of the community to battle, through prayer, the &#8220unprecedented spiritual warfare” seen in America today.

The men and women led in specific prayers for churches, the government, family, education, the military and the media.

&#8220We have all had those days where we'd rather not be bothered to take time out of our busy schedules to pray,” said ordained minister, Greenville Fire Chief Mike Phillips, who opened the service after Lindstrom's welcoming address.

&#8220But He is the One who has given this day to rejoice inŠand we need to give thanks we can gather together to praise and worship Him.”

Leander Robinson, a former military officer, called for &#8220heaven's angels to stand alongside our men and women as they fight the good fight” and to be with the families of those who give &#8220the greatest sacrifice.”

Stephenson, who serves as Butler County circuit clerk, asked &#8220that in all we in government do and say, God will be lifted up.”

In the wake of the tragedy at Virginia Tech, Griffin prayed that all those touched in sorrow would know their hope is in God.

&#8220Forgive us for allowing prayers to be taken out of schoolsŠlet every child know they can pray wherever they may be and have a relationship with You. Lift up all those who touch our children's lives in some way each day,” Griffin said.

Lois Robinson stressed the family unit has been &#8220distorted” in modern times.

&#8220Let us get our hearts and minds back to where they should beŠlet the Lord come and be with us at the breakfast table again,” she said.

Helms encouraged those present to be willing to make a stand for their beliefs.

&#8220Today, we have made a statement. We have decided to face the enemy and we are ‘taking it back' - our homes, our churches, our schools, our businesses, the media.”

Lindstrom reminded those present across the country &#8220countless numbers” of people were also gathering to pray at noon in their own cities, towns and communities.

&#8220Never forget prayer is a very powerful tool,” he encouraged.