Praying for our nation: National Day of Prayer observed at Laurel County Courthouse

May 8—A years-long tradition continued last week as the observance for National Day of Prayer was held at the Laurel County Courthouse.

The first Thursday of May has been designated as a time for citizens to come together and pray for their nation, focusing on the national, state and local levels.

Last week, the ceremony offered prayer for those very things — and included communities, families and churches.

Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield said the National Day of Prayer observance in front of the Laurel County Courthouse had always had good turnout.

"We've been doing this for years now, and we've never had to move it inside," he said. "God has always blessed us with good weather for this."

Pastors of all denominations joined with citizens in the service, lead off by Norm Brock, pastor of First Baptist Church of East Bernstadt, who prayed for the country's leaders.

Mark Hisle, pastor of Parkway Ministries, lead the group in praying for revival of God's people and the nation. He mentioned that revival often involves repentance, reiterating how Sampson's last request to God was to give him strength to destroy the Philistines.

Shawn Ryan, pastor of First Methodist Church, prayed for families.

"It was your idea, Lord, for families — to bring us great hope and peace. But we also have families who have strife, conflicts, and those who are estranged from their families," he said. "We pray for marriages, and for hope and revival of love for families."

Senior Minister Bart Jones of Community Christian Church also participated, asking God "to watch over those that need you, the poor, the needy, those suffering from some kind of injustice. Lord we ask you to lift them up and work through us so we know how to bless them."

Jeff Lewis, pastor of Carmichael Community Church, ended the prayer service by asking God to revitalize the spirit of love in each person's heart.

"We know You are the author and finisher of our fate," he said. "Give us the desire, the zeal to preacher wherever we are and manifest your presence like never before."

The ceremony was accented with the performance of two songs by Cornerstone Christian School's choir, with Daniel Carmack winding down the service by asking anyone wishing to pray to come up and speak with one of the pastors present.

National Day of Prayer was established in 1952 through an act of Congress and signed by President Harry S. Truman.