National Day of Prayer events scheduled for Thursday

Posted: Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Kenai Peninsula residents are invited to participate in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday at the Soldotna Church of God.

The church will have its sanctuary open from 7 a.m. until 6:15 p.m. for people to stop in and pray.

The chaplain of the U.S. Senate has asked people to say the "Prayer for the Nation" at noon, and Love INC of the Kenai Peninsula has asked all churches to open their doors from noon to 1 p.m. for the observance.

"We will be praying for our local, state and national leaders," said Bradley Grigg, pastor of Soldotna Church of God.

Prayer for the Nation

Gracious God,

You have been good to us beyond our deserving, making our nation a land of liberty. Help us to protect our freedoms with diligence and integrity.

Lord, bless our military as it advances freedoms cause around the world. Bless also the institutions of power and influence in our society the government, the churches, the media, the schools and the families. May each bring glory to your name.

Forgive us when we stray from right paths. We place our trust in you, O Lord, believing that your hand will sustain America. Let no shadows obscure the pathways which we should tread.

We pray in your holy name. Amen.

By Dr. Barry Black,

Chaplain of the U.S. Senate

The church, which is on the corner of Redoubt Avenue and Binkley Street, also will have a prayer wall on which people can write their personal prayer needs and a wall called "Our Military Family" on which photos of friends or family members serving in the military may be posted.

Photos may be left on the wall until June 1.

"This is the first year we've hosted National Day of Prayer in this fashion," Grigg said. "In the last five years, we've just been open to our people."

Grigg said he did not know how many people to expect but said the church has between 200 and 250 active parishioners.

He will be in the sanctuary during the entire 11-hour period and said a welcome sign will be present informing people of the various events taking place in the church.

A Power Point presentation will show pictures of government leaders and identify offices they hold.

National Day of Prayer was established by an act of Congress in 1952, and, in 1988, President Ronald Reagan changed the law designating that it be observed on the first Thursday in May.

According to Pat Stringer, the Alaska coordinator for National Day of Prayer, the special day exists to encourage personal repentance and prayer, particularly on behalf of the nation and those in leadership roles.

"Whether we are defending the rights of people in other parts of the world to be free or protecting American citizens from terrorism at home, we seek a power greater than ourselves: God," Stringer said in a letter to the editor.

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