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IN THE CARPENTER’S WORKSHOP: National Day of Prayer

The National Day of Prayer will be held all across the country this Thursday. The Halifax County Prayer Event, the largest and most concerted effort in all of Virginia, will happen at 6:45 p.m. that evening, Thursday, May 1, at Halifax County High School auditorium.

The single most powerful tool of people of faith is prayer. Action in the world bathed in and inspired by prayer can do more than any other force.

Our country is in great need of prayer. Roman Empire fall, political corruption at the highest levels in history, terrible morality all around kind of need for prayer. Wonderful possibilities with God, celebration of faith, freedom and country, and nothing is impossible with God kind of prayer.

About 80 percent, about 250 million people in America, identify themselves as Christians. Every one of them should pray for America every day. It is the only hope the world has to grow and prosper in faith and life.

This Thursday, we have something concrete to do for the betterment of our nation, and nothing should get in the way. Last year, we had about 700 Christians who gathered to pray for our nation. The high school will hold 1,300. We hope and pray that you will cancel anything that you have scheduled and be there to pray for our nation. No government meeting, no church meeting, no television program, no can of beer is more important than this.

It costs about $5,000 in community donations each year to make this happen. Shouldn’t have to spend a dime on publicity, but we spend about $1,000 for that. People of faith from our community have graciously consented to pray for our schools, government, businesses, families, churches and nation.

There is no other free event like this in Halifax County during the year. Sure there are plays, parades, picnics, races, church services, and many community events.

But we spend the entire year planning one gathering that is interesting, entertaining, pivotal, inspiring and blesses all the rest. You will see people who work and live in Halifax County in prayer before you and Almighty God. You will have the chance to pray with hundreds, perhaps more than a thousand, for our beloved nation.

Presidents have authorized this since before our nation was formed. Non-believers challenge it in court and have yet to win, another item for continued prayer. 

I lived here for a number of years and never went to the National Day of Prayer gathering. I stood outside of this effort and never saw the connection of prayer and faith of committed people in our community. Then one day I did, saw what gathering together with other Christians of all denominations and races could do and have never missed since,

It has grown from just a few people, to a hundred, to 800 two years ago, and there is room for every Christian God leads to attend. There are about 37,000 people in Halifax County now. 

Pastors, you have a major responsibility for your church and nation. If every pastor came to the National Day of Prayer and brought 10 people, the room would be full. Some 90 percent of Halifax pastors were not in attendance last year. 

We have invited T. Graham Brown, from Nashville Tennessee, to be a major part of the event this year. Last year it was Linda Davis, the year before that Joey and Rory, then Jimmy Fortune, and some time before that it was the chaplain for Virginia Tech the year after their tragic massacre.

Brown has come out of the world of alcohol abuse to a deep faith and offers hope to all. Every AA and NA meeting that evening should be canceled, and all who struggle with any sort of difficulty should come that night.

He is a world-class entertainer with many number one records, and from a conversation I had with him yesterday, promises a great time of music and testimony as well. He is funny and dedicated, talented and humble, gracious and visionary. Beginning with beach music, going on to pop and country over the years, he has already made a mark. Just Google him, and you will see.

The twin missions of the program committee of the National Day of Prayer are to get as many people there as possible, and to present a great event which inspires people to pray for their nation 365 days a year. The variable in that equation is YOU.

Through a combination of God’s spirit, modern technology, committed people and the best that can be offered, the National Day of Prayer event is one you will not want to miss, and one in which you will not be disappointed. 

This year we are also gathering briefly on the courthouse steps in Halifax at noon on May 1 and at South Boston Town Hall at 1 p.m. to offer a prayer for the nation written by Anne Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy Graham. You are invited to those events as well.