Christians join ‘National Day of Prayer’ rallies across the region

Pastors call for prayers for communities, first responders, military, families and government leaders

TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Charlotte Trice Copeland had some business at the Lee County Justice Center when she found out from a friend about the “National Day of Prayer” ceremony. She said it was too important to miss.

“If we don’t all fall on our knees and unite together in prayer, we are going to be lost. This world needs prayer, to unite. It’s not a black thing, not a white thing, it’s an ‘us’ thing because it will take all of us to survive it,” Copeland said.

She joined the crowd in front of the Justice Center as prayers were lifted for families, first responders, the military, government leaders,  communities, and churches. The theme for this year’s “National Day of Prayer” is from James 5:16, which reads “The effective prayer of a righteous person has great power”.

Area pastors said prayer should be the first line of defense and offense for those in the church. And they also said public prayer gatherings are more than just symbolic.

“To gather together, it helps to go across denominational lines, and nondenominational lines and it helps to keep Jesus the focus and not doctrines that keep us apart, and to tear the walls down that would cause us to not be able to see the differences for what they are and how we can show love to one another, and I believe love will change everything in this community,” said Pastor Terry Garrett, of King’s Gate Worship Center.

“If men would be men of God and women, women of God, communities would change. We would see crime go down, see those issues and problems, if we would turn to Christ, we would see these problems almost go away,” said Dr. Keith Cochran, Pastor of West Jackson Street Baptist Church.

Leaders of this prayer rally encouraged those in attendance to pray individually, and corporately for leaders in this nation.

The Continental Congress first called for a day of prayer in 1775 and in 1952. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a law recognizing the first Thursday in May as a day of prayer throughout the nation.

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