Written by Walter L. Johnson III
Albany area residents will be among the many Americans who will pray for the nation’s future in the 2012 National Day of Prayer observance Thursday.
It will be held at the Government Center, located on 222 Pine Avenue in Downtown Albany. It’s the 19th year the National Day of Prayer observance has been held in Albany, and the 25th year nationwide.
The first National Day of Prayer was held former President Ronald Reagan designated the first Thursday in May for such as observance.
This year’s theme is One Nation under God, which is based on Psalm 33:12.
Wanda Mitchell, a longtime member of Porterfield United Methodist Church who has served as a co-chair for the NDP for almost two decades, will be one of the speakers at this year’s event. She says the need for prayer has never been more critical than now.
“We certainly see the need for prayer in the nation,” Mitchell said, “with its economic problem, its’ ongoing difficulties with other nations, unemployment.
Mitchell added: “I see there’s a lot a need for prayer.”
As another co-chair for the Albany NDP, Ginny Hayman says the idea for the local observance partially came via the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.
“Actually, we came to do this through the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast,” Hayman explained. “The Albany Christian Businessmen’s Committee sponsored the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, every year, in January.
“(When some of the) members became elderly, they could no longer do the work,” added Hayman. “So they called me and asked us to form a committee to take that over.
“So in taking over the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, we also began to have a program, the National Day of Prayer.”
When asked why she got involved with the National Day of Prayer, Mitchell said, “I think it was (Dr.) James Dobson’s (radio) show, Focus on the Family, because his wife (Shirley) is the national chair for the National Day of Prayer, has been ever since I got involved in it.
“Just realizing the value of prayer, and realizing that God has mandated us to pray,” Mitchell continued, “and he says (that) he will bless the nations that acknowledge him, and I certainly want to help keep this nation, One Nation under God.
With an expected crowd of around 300 people attending this year’s ceremony, Mitchell invites anyone who thinks the U.S. is in need of prayer to attend.
“I certainly hope that everybody will come out,” said Mitchell. “Anybody that thinks that this nation needs prayer, they certainly need to come out, and show their support, and we do have a time when everybody will get together and pray, and (there) will be people praying for families, for the media, for the military, for the government, and I hope everybody will come out, and take this opportunity to come together with others in agreement, to pray for this nation, on the local level, the state, and the national level.”
“I just think prayer is the answer to our need (s),” Hayman said. “Most every city you talk to (have) a concern about their crime element, about the other things going on in their city (that) they have to deal with.
“We know the opposite of that is that when Christians do what is right, affect others to do right, and we have a society that is safe, and that comes through prayer.”
On The Web: http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org