Gilpinites join in praying for America
by Patty Unruh
America’s annual National Day of Prayer was held on Thursday, May 2. Coloradans joined millions of Americans of all faiths at thousands of gatherings large and small, including a two-hour program set for the steps of the state Capitol in Denver.
Gilpin residents Norene Curran and Jaclyn Schrock attended the Denver event, held on the steps of the Colorado State Capitol Building, and shared a report and their impressions.
The theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer was “Pray for America – Love One Another” and was based on John 13:34 from the Holy Bible, which says, “Love one another, just as I have loved you.”
The mission of the National Day of Prayer is “to mobilize unified public prayer for America,” according to nationaldayofprayer.org. It “has great significance for us as a nation as it enables us to recall and to teach the way in which our founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. It stands as a call for us to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for our leaders and His grace upon us as a people. The unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event, signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning.”
The site estimates that over two million people attended more than 30,000 observances organized by approximately 40,000 volunteers.
The Denver event contained a variety of elements. Three Jewish rabbis opened by blowing the shofar, an ancient musical horn typically made from a ram’s horn and used in many Jewish events and celebrations.
Children from the Inner-City School in Denver recited their own version of The Pledge of Allegiance and sang several patriotic songs. Many enthusiastically sang along.
Governor Jared Polis’ proclamation was read. In part, the document stated, “Each citizen has the freedom, if they choose, to gather, to worship, and to pray, whether in public or private. On May 2, 2019, individuals across this state and nation may, if they choose, unite in prayer for our country, our state, our leaders, and our people.”
Pastor Walker of Inner-City School prayed the National Prayer along with the crowd. The prayer thanked God for America and requested forgiveness for harsh and bitter words about each other, for the devaluing of human life, and for division in our nation.
“Help us to choose love over hate, unity over division, and life over death,” Walker prayed. “Ignite a revival of love. We pray for all ethnicities to love one another. Lord, tear down every wall of division … bind up our nation’s wounds. Protect us from harm. We believe all of these things represent our deep need for the next great move of God across America.”
The National Prayer concluded, “Beginning right now, we are choosing a future that will be transformed by the power of unconditional love. When we belong to You, we belong to love. We choose to love one another!”
“One of the most moving and powerful prayers was by a woman speaker who prayed a prayer of confession,” Curran said. “She pointed out the need for the ‘Church’ to repent for failing God in our mission as Christians to share the truth with our nation, our cities, neighborhoods, and friends. She asked God, ‘Teach us how to serve one another, how to serve our governor, our legislators, our schools, our families, the homeless, the mentally unstable, our youth, our churches and the leaders therein.’”
The speaker also prayed, “We’ve missed the fact that you [God] are outside our doors knocking to be let in. How did you get out to begin with? And how did we not notice?”
Pastors from various denominations offered up prayers for the ‘Seven Centers of Influence’ – government, military, media arts, business, education, church and family.
Prayers were offered for specific groups like single parents, elected officials, judges, the governor, our Constitution, marriage and families. Several pastors prayed in Spanish with interpreters.
Radio station representatives from KPOF AM 910 and KLOVE FM 91.1 prayed over the news media and social media.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock spoke briefly, calling himself a “man of faith.” He said the crowd was the largest they’ve had in the past three years. He stated, “If we ever needed prayer, we need prayer now in our nation. We’ve got people spewing hateful words … and acting with hateful acts.”
The mayor added, “We need to stand for peace, stand for love, and stand for humanity.”
The pastors and members of the crowd prayed over the mayor.
One of the rabbis prayed for houses of worship, especially synagogues, due to recent anti-Semitic attacks. He invited people to come forward to have a blessing prayed over them in English and then in Hebrew.
Pastor Daniel Jeorg of Denver Good News Church told how he came from South Korea and shared his appreciation for America. He said America was built on the gospel and prayed for God to restore the true gospel to America.
Colorado House Representative Mark Baisley spoke about the Constitution and the role of government, stating that the role of government is to ensure our Constitutional rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Government’s role is not to give us our rights, nor does it have the ability to take our rights away from us. Its sole purpose is to ensure our rights given to us by our Creator, Baisley said.
The children returned to lead the crowd in singing “God Bless America,” and the three rabbis again blew the shofar horns to close the event.
“It truly was one of the most inspiring National Day of Prayer events I’ve attended,” Curran commented.
“I especially appreciated hearing the name of Jesus Christ spoken with reverence and honor in public,” Schrock added.
National leaders have called for days of prayer since before the United States existed. In 1775, the Continental Congress designated a day to pray for the new nation they envisioned, and President Abraham Lincoln issued a similar call a year into the Civil War, in 1863. The multi-faith National Day of Prayer in its current form was established in 1952 by a congressional resolution signed by President Harry Truman. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed an amendment to the law designating it as the first Thursday in May.
Every President since 1952 has signed a National Day of Prayer proclamation. Gerald R. Ford (1976), George H. Bush (1989-91), Barack Obama (2012), and Donald Trump (2017) are the only U.S. Presidents to sign multiple National Day of Prayer Proclamations in the same year.
The Weekly Register-Call is indebted to Norene Curran and Jaclyn Schrock for their contributions to this article.
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