Forgiveness, Faith And Freedom Focus Of National Day Of Prayer - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

05/06/04

Forgiveness, Faith And Freedom Focus Of National Day Of Prayer

Nearly two dozen people gathered at noon Thursday on the steps of Biloxi City Hall. With their eyes closed, heads bowed, and hearts raised to heaven, they joined voices and recited a prayer for our nation: "We place our trust in you oh Lord, believing that your hand will sustain America".

Pastor Jason Johnson prayed for state and local leaders in Mississippi. He said "God, we gather together, black, white, Protestant, Catholic, we come together to be one nation, under God".

The National Day of Prayer took on special significance this year because of the ongoing conflict in Iraq. Many thoughts were on the soldiers who are putting their lives on the line on foreign soil.

Keesler Chaplain Captain Kenneth Jenkins said, "We pray for our troops who stand in harm's way. We ask you God that your presence will sustain them, give them the faith to know that you are with them".

It was Ashley Smith's first time attending Day of Prayer. The 13 year old said, "We come out and try to help other people and see what other people's needs are and pray for our troops that they come home safely".

Come home like former Iraq hostage Thomas Hamill of Macon, Mississippi. Many believe his safe return is proof of the power of prayer.

Carleen Hall is the coordinator of the prayer observance.

"Someone was praying 24/7, every minute of everyday until he was found. So prayer is real and God answers prayer."

Marybeth Lane of Biloxi said, "It's one thing to say "oh yeah I'm going to pray to God", but to see a miraculous answer to prayer, that's so encouraging".

Those who gathered have faith that God is still listening and freedom will ring.

Prayers also focused on children, churches, businesses and the media. Mayor A.J. Holloway proclaimed May 6th, 2004, National Day of Prayer in Biloxi.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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