Faithful offer intentions on National Day of Prayer

May 06, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

"If my people . . . shall humble themselves and pray . . . then will I heal their land."

About 100 people gathered at the Vietnam Memorial in Westminster yesterday and put the words from II Chronicles 7:14 into practice. They observed the National Day of Prayer, a 40-year-old event celebrated throughout the country.

"Our country needs prayer so desperately," said Jan Saxton of Mount Airy. "There is a power in the prayers of people who come together. Their prayers are effective."

An 8-year-old summed up the spirit of the day more succinctly.

"If you pray, God answers," said Melissa Geimer, who said she would like to see prayer reinstated in public schools.

Chimes from several city churches signaled the beginning of the noon service.

"The bells are to remind those unable to attend to pause for a moment of prayer," said Marcia J. Reinhart who, with Lynn Negley, organized the city observance.

Standing at the monument dedicated to county residents who died in Vietnam, Mr. Negley said, "The men on this stone died for the freedoms of speech and religion. We need to pray endlessly without ceasing and endure one another's burdens."

Several community and business leaders led the prayers before a crowd of men and women in business suits and factory uniforms. Many had come to the park during their lunch hour and stayed to pray.

"As long as we are doing the Lord's will, he blesses us," said Wayne Gadow, a small business owner. "There are a lot of other blessings more important than financial ones."

Mark N. Wadel, a minister to prisoners at the Carroll County Detention Center, urged participants to "acknowledge the importance of prayer right here out in the open in Westminster. Prayer changes lives."

With bowed heads, participants said silent prayers along with the speakers, frequently adding an "amen" to the petitions.

"Prayer is our mightiest weapon," said Beverly Desrosiers, director of Alpha Pregnancy Center in Reisterstown. "We pray to protect the weak."

Delmas and Linda Woods asked for God's blessing on families.

"We pray that our home foundations be strengthened," said Mr. Woods, a father of four who works for the Department of Juvenile Services. "It does not require a majority to make a change, but just a faithful people doing God's will."

Ms. Reinhart ended the service with a prayer of confession.

"Take on the sins of the nation and ask for forgiveness," she said.

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