Butler County observes National Day of Prayer

Published 5:16 pm Friday, April 28, 2023

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The Butler County Ministerial Association invites residents to join them Thursday at noon on the steps of Greenville City Hall to pray for the community, Alabama, and America during its annual observance for the National Day of Prayer.

Allen Stephenson, pastor at First Baptist Church in Georgiana, said the association hosts the event each year to encourage and support the community in praying for local, statewide, and national issues.

“We recognize that God is in control of the things that are going on in the world,” Stephenson said. “But He wants us to be proactive in seeing our local communities doing well with His word and with the opportunities we have to pray for different agencies.”

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Stephenson said the event exposed the community to the benefits of prayer and invites residents to engage in an active prayer life.

“Not everybody prays, believe it or not,” he said. “There are a lot of people who are in control that don’t pray, but we’re calling for God’s intervention in all the problems that we face as a nation and as a community. We’re calling God’s witness to that and we’re calling on Him to bless our efforts.”

John Girdley, pastor of First Baptist Church in Greenville, said the ecumenical efforts are aimed at bringing citizens together to pray in unity.

“People across denominational lines and throughout our city come side by side together, and that is a great benefit for the community to see us standing together,” Girdley said. “I think the efficacy of prayer, the power of prayer is just phenomenal. And, we truly believe the effective, fervent prayer of the righteous avails much. So, as we pray Thursday, we’re trusting God to do a great move in our city.”

Pastors and ministers from the area will lead prayers for topics on the minds and hearts of citizens including schools, law enforcement, elected officials and the media.

“We’ve got a certain person who will pray for the media, which drastically affects our children,” Girdley said. “After what happened in Dadeville, we need to be preemptive with our prayers, praying and seeking the Lord. Our prayer warriors will especially lift up our schools and our students. We will pray for our first responders, but education and our schools are definitely a focus we will pray for.”

Stephenson said around 25 area ministers are involved in the association.

“We will be calling on them from different denominations and different sexes,” he said. “We have female and male pastors and lay speakers who are involved. We work directly with the educational component in our community, but the National Day of Prayer is really an opportunity for us to pause and ask God’s blessings on our country and our community.”

The 2023 theme for the observance is Pray Fervently in Righteousness and Avail Much from James 5:16B, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

For more information or resources, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.