2009-05-11 / Local News

The skies cleared for faithful gathered for National Prayer Day

By JOE L. HUGHES II Ledger Staff Writer joe@gaffneyledger.com

Cherokee County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director Pierre Salmon delivers a word of prayer during Thursday's National Day of Prayer rally outside of Gaffney City Hall. Cherokee County Fellowship of Christian Athletes Director Pierre Salmon delivers a word of prayer during Thursday's National Day of Prayer rally outside of Gaffney City Hall. Prayer changes things.

Just ask Mother Nature.

In the days preceding Thursday's National Day of Prayer event, Broad River Baptist Association Director of Missions Rev. Donnie Padgett hoped rain forecast for the area would at least hold off long enough for area Christians to gather outside Gaffney City Hall to take local, state and national issues to the Lord in prayer.

Not able to simply say "Peace, be still" like Jesus did to calm a storm while Him and His disciples were at sea, Padgett did just as the Great Teacher taught his followers — he prayed.

Blessed with sunny skies enabling those attending the rally to appreciate God's creation, Padgett began his portion of the event by breaking down the Lord's Prayer and its importance.

"Prayer is a way for us to talk to the Father," Padgett said, "and here today, as His children we go to Him knowing that He hears the voice of His children."

Approximately 80 people took part in the county's annual National Day of Prayer rally, which was sponsored by the Greater Gaffney Ministerial Association. The theme for this year's event was "Prayer ... America's Hope," inspired by a verse in Psalm 33 that states "May your unfailing love rest upon us, o Lord, even as we put our hope in you."

This year's celebration also marks the 58th annual observance nationwide.

During the 30-minute service, local pastors and church leaders led prayers for leaders at the local, state and national levels.

"We are instructed to pray for those in charge over us," said the Rev. James Garner, chaplain of the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department and pastor of Elm Street Church of God. "They definitely need to be kept in our prayers.

Other areas of influence including the church, schools, business world, military and news media were lifted up in prayer. Elder Stacy Durden of Fruit of the Spirit Ministries also prayed for the family, believing the nation's turnaround begins at home.

"The family is so important, and it is truly going through a tough time right now due to all the cares of the world," Durden said, "but thanks be to God that he gave his only son, Jesus."

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