Clark County observes National Day of Prayer

Published 1:35 pm Wednesday, May 10, 2023

To some, Thursday, May, brought about thoughts of a particular science fiction film.

To others, it was of different importance.

Dozens of citizens gathered outside the Clark County Courthouse to recognize the 2023 National Day of Prayer.

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Among them were Clark County Sheriff Will Perdue, Fire Chief Chris Whiteley and Magistrate Robert Blanton.

“We just feel like, as a community, we want to be a part of the National Day of Prayer, which is an event that is happening across the United States,” said Pastor Pat Finley of Grace Baptist Church, who helped organize the event. “We just feel like it’s something tangible that we can do when it comes to God’s people.”

Formally enacted into law in 1952, the National Day of Prayer has historically been celebrated by many different religions reflecting the demographics of the United States.

While Thursday’s events took place outside the courthouse, celebrations have also occurred in churches, mosques, synagogues and other locations.

After the Color Guard presented the National Colors to begin Thursday’s ceremony, Perri Wilson opened by singing “God Bless America.”

Shortly after that, several pastors of churches throughout Winchester began to speak.

Several different potential topics of prayer were mentioned.

Among them was the need for God’s people to focus on prayer to receive intervention and the challenges of secularism in modern times.

“I think that a nation is blessed when they honor Jesus Christ as Lord, and I want to do everything that I can to be part of shining that light and preaching that Gospel to as many people as possible,” said Pastor Jeff Gaines of Christ Church of Winchester.

Todd Rader, Pastor at Ephesus Bible Church, also spoke at the event.

While many in the local community were in attendance, secondary students from Calvary Christian School and Grace Bible Church also appeared.

Melissa Christopher is a teacher at Calvary Christian School.

“I think it’s important that we share the Lord with our community and with these children because they need it the most, and they need to shine their light for Jesus,” she said. “[What] I hope they take [away] the most [is] they need to shine their light and to not believe all the things that they see on social media and anywhere else.”

Speakers from the different schools included Addison Irvin of Grace Bible Church, Paul Whitworth of Calvary Christian School and custodian Seth Brush of Grace Bible Church.

Near the end of the event, attendees were asked to get into groups of three and provide prayers.

“The Bible says a threefold cord is not easily broken,” Finley said, referring to a verse in the Ecclesiastes.

He asked that others pray for repentance, an awakening, and leaders, among other topics.

While walking around the groups, additional prayers could be heard for the sick and more.

Though the ceremony ended shortly after that, a focus on prayer appears to be ongoing.

“We need God, and that means at a grassroots level…putting God in our community and just recognizing the Judeo-Christian principles that this country was founded upon,” Finley said.