About 25 persons gathered outside the Upshur County Courthouse early Thursday afternoon to observe the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer in a ceremony conducted by Concerned Women for America of Texas official Sandra Click.
Mrs. Click, the Gilmer area chapter leader of her organization, was among several at Thursday’s gathering who individually led prayers before the 20-minute ceremony concluded with those attending holding hands and jointly reciting “The Lord’s Prayer.”
Standing near the flagpole which is on the courthouse’s south lawn, Mrs. Click told the assemblage that the theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “One Voice, United In Prayer,” based on Romans 15:6 in the Bible.
She said those attending were present “to lift up our nation to the Lord.”
“I’m glad we have a National Day of Prayer,” she added, terming it a sign the nation recognizes God. She further said it is time for Christians to unite because they are all in a “battle” with Satan.
“Do not ever be apologetic that we are a Christian nation,” Mrs. Click urged. She said atheists’ contention that America wasn’t founded by Christians is a “lie.”
She called on Ricky Rigsby, Associate Pastor of First Baptist Church of Gilmer, to lead the first prayer. Before doing so, Rigsby said Luke 18 in the Bible had been cited that morning during a prayer rally at the nation’s capitol in Washington, and he discussed that scripture.
In his prayer, Rigsby noted airplanes were flying at all 50 state capitols that morning, reminding that “God deserves our worship. . . praise. . .petition.”
He asked God to “give us the city of Gilmer,” where Christ would reign “supreme.” In addition, saying the nation was “established on Christian principles,” Rigsby prayed “Bring us back to that, Lord.”
The minister said religious influence has been taken off public buildings’ walls, and prayed for a return to prayer in public places. “Bring a great revival to this nation,” he asked.
When Mrs. Click called on anyone who wanted to lead prayer to do so, a man prayed for President Obama and for those in Washington to seek “truth” more than “special interests.” Yet another man prayed for the government and for God to “bring this nation back together.”
Joe Welick, who wore a tee shirt mentioning the Biblical verse II Corinthians 7:14, read the text of it: “If my (God’s) people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”
After two women led prayers, Mrs. Click led one in which she said “the church has been asleep,” and it was time to awake. She cited the loss of religion in Europe, said that Christ’s enemies “are attacking our faith,” and prayed, “Destroy the evil that our young people are being exposed to.”
She prayed that young people would know “to not go along just to get along with their friends and peers.” And, Mrs. Click added, “Father, we pray that you will have mercy on this land.”
Near the ceremony’s end, Rigsby noted that the Gilmer Area Ministerial Fellowship will hold periodic prayer meetings on the courthouse steps.