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Dozens gather for Day of Prayer

More than 50 people gathered on the front lawn of the Mount Airy Municipal Building Thursday, with a similar number gathering on the courthouse lawn in Dobson, to commemorate the National Day of Prayer.

But the two local prayer times were far from isolated events.

“There is a sweeping movement of prayer across the nation at noon…today,” David Sparks, pastor of Flat Rock Pentecostal Holiness Church, said to those gathered in Mount Airy as the brief service got underway. He explained that the National Day of Prayer consists of groups across America — from the East Coast all the way to Alaska and Hawaii — gathering at noon in their respective time zones to pray. In some communities, additional prayer times were held later that evening.

Darrell Tate, senior pastor of Highland Park Baptist Church, told those who were at Mount Airy’s service that they were present because “You do believe in prayer, and you believe prayer makes a difference…the effectual, fervent, dynamic prayers of a righteous person” can bring about change in lives.

His words and message came from the theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer, which is taken from James. 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”

“Prayer makes an eternal difference,” he said, likening the prayer relationship between Christians and God to a bell pull rope. The rope, he said, is the prayer from Earth that rings the bell in heaven, bringing down action from God.

He reminded the audience members that sometimes, people don’t see the lives they want, don’t see the nation they desire, simply because they don’t pray. He referenced an earlier verse in James, from chapter 4, verse 2, which says, in part, “…yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”

He also reminded those listening Thursday that God’s people, throughout biblical times — particularly in the Old Testament accounts — would often turn to him during times of great hardship, finding themselves delivered from whatever obstacles or challenges they faced.

Then he turned his comments to modern times and to America.

“As a nation, we are reaping what we have sown,” he said. “The backwash of a Godless society is substance abuse, child neglect…mass shootings,” and other modern evils he listed. “God has promised he will forgive the sins of a nation and heal the land…if his people will come to him.”

Tate encouraged those gathered to lead the way among their friends and churches, to pray for political leaders, for local leaders, for the nation, and for one another.

“God often does the unexpected when we pray fervently and effectually,” he said.

Tate closed his message by leading those in attendance in reciting the Lord’s Prayer.

In addition to remarks by both Sparks and Tate, Mount Airy Mayor Jon Cawley read a proclamation showing Mount Airy’s support for the National Day of Prayer, and Melissa Vernon opened the ceremony by singing the National Anthem and closed the gathering by leading the audience in singing God Bless America.



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