Service marks National Day of Prayer, culminates Bible reading marathon
Published 11:16 pm Thursday, May 1, 2014
“God Bless America.”
The sentiment is expressed on license plates, in lyrics, in prayers and many other ways but God has already blessed America.
That was the message that Dr. Billy Harris delivered at the National Day of Prayer Service on the square in downtown Troy Thursday.
“God has already blessed America. It’s time that we bless God with obedience,” said Harris, Alabama State Board of Missions Office of Evangelism. “Psalm 33:12 tell us, ‘Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance.’ This place (Troy square) ought to be filled with God’s people, thanking Him for all the things He has blessed us with.”
Harris said people of God should be mindful of God’s blessings and should proclaim their spiritual inheritance.
“We should never forget our spiritual inheritance and we should proclaim it as did our forefathers,” he said. “Before the Pilgrims came shore, they spent a day fasting and in prayer.
“The founders of our country never pushed God out of country. Separation of church and state did not mean separation from God. Our country was not founded by religionist. It was founded by Christians and, as a Christian nation, its people should pass on a legacy of biblical faith in Jesus Christ.
“Success is not measured by degrees or money or by what we drive or where we live. We should pass on a legacy of faith in God, of our personal relationships with Christ.”
Harris said Christians should pray for their personal churches and for a revival in America.
“We are in trouble,” he said. “America is in trouble. And God is the only one to turn us around. We should heed God’s word. He tell us, ‘If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn away from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.’
“God’s message is just a fresh today as it was then. So, if we turn away from our wicked ways, He will forgive our sin and heal our land. Our hope is in God.”
Harris led those in attendance in a closing prayer that ended with the directive, “Go live for God.”
A national day of prayer was called for by the first Continental Congress in 1775 and was first established by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863.
In 1952, Congress unanimously voted to establish a National Day of Prayer. The day was made official when President Harry S. Truman signed it into law.
In 1988, Congress and President Ronald Reagan amended the law to designate the first Thursday in May as National Day of Prayer.
Most National Day of Prayer efforts are geared at praying for the nation, government leaders, the President, congressmen, and local officials. There are large gatherings on the Mall in Washington D.C. and in thousands of cities across America.