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Day of Prayer Thursday

The Greater Greenville Ministerial Association is again urging local citizens to pray for their community during the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 5.

The group is sponsoring a special ceremony on the front steps of City Hall at noon on Thursday, said event organizer Margie Kennedy of First Baptist Church.

The event, which has the theme "God Shed His Grace on Thee", is expected to last 30 to 40 minutes, Kennedy said. Attendees may want to bring lawn chairs to be more comfortable during the event.

"Our ceremony will feature a greeting from Mayor Dexter McLendon, prayers by several area pastors and musical entertainment by Fort Dale Academy senior Madison Norrell," Kennedy said.

The pastors' prayers will center around five "centers of power": the government, the media, education, church and family, Kennedy said.

The scripture theme for the day is Hebrews 4:16 (NIV): "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our hour of need."

Kennedy is hoping for a good turnout.

"We hope many people will turn out for the event and join us on Thursday – prayers can and do make a difference," Kennedy adds.

The National Day of Prayer began in 1952. In 1958 it was officially set by an act of Congress for the first Thursday of May of each year.

In related news, the Rev. Fred Lindstrom of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church who heads the local ministerial association said recently this spring's household prayer signs had turned out to be "highly successful."

"Not only did we have people from across the county asking for the signs, we had folks from Lowndes, Crenshaw and Wilcox Counties wanting signs for their homes – so this turned out to be a true area-wide movement," said Lindstrom.

Though the "This Household is Praying for This Community" signs were originally only supposed to remain up through Easter 2005, the overwhelmingly positive response has kept the signs a very visible part of the community well into the spring.

"We appreciate everyone who has had a sign placed out in front of their homes, but it is time now to put them away in a safe place and then bring the signs back out next spring," said Lindstrom.

There has been one negative aspect of the sign campaign – namely, signs that have mysteriously gone missing.

"Some people saw fit to steal some of our signs on a few occasions, I am sorry to say. If anyone knows anything about these thefts, I would ask them to please contact the Greenville Police Department," Lindstrom stressed.