The prayers of Great Bend Christians were joined with the faithful around the United States on Thursday, for the National Day of Prayer. About two dozen people met in the courthouse square at noon to offer prayers for the government, military, schools, media, businesses, churches and families in the community, state and nation. They concluded with a prayerful walk around the square.
Michelle Gwin and Don and Leslie Mayo were among members of a group known as One Hope Ministries that got the word out about the gathering. Gwin said the local National Day of Prayer observance has been held in the evening at the Crest Theater for the past 10 years, but it moved outside this year.
The National Day of Prayer Task Force is a nonprofit organization with 501 (c)(3) status.
“You don’t have to have a crowd to pray,” said Jack Sweany, pastor at Community Christian Church, when the first handful of people arrived. “Don’t be shy; we’re just praying to God — talking to him.”
Jim Stevens, there with his wife Marlies, was also with One Hope. He prayed for the health and safety of elected officials, asking God’s spirit to guide them to be good leaders.
Whether praying for law enforcement officers, business people, children or teachers, the prayers requested safety, wisdom, encouragement and God’s presence. Stevens’ prayer for people in business asked God to, “help them operate with integrity, fairness and biblical principles, keeping in mind the teachings of Jesus.”
In her prayer for the church, Gwin said, “We are to be ministers of reconciliation, ... taking souls for you in Jesus name.”
Retired minister Don Paden called on fellow Christians to change themselves before others. “We need to pray for the one person we see in the mirror each day,” he said.
Marshall Rouse, whose local ministries include the Hungry Heart Soup Kitchen, agreed. “We need to shine His light,” Rouse prayed. “People need to look at us and say, ‘Hey, I want what they’ve got.’ Be watchful how we represent (Christ) to the world, because the world is watching us.”
Sweany concluded by encouraging the Christians to, “Keep praying.