Day of Prayer service celebrates American values

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 5, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
SALISBURY — Gathered near the foot of the historic Presbyterian bell tower downtown, about 30 people took time at noon Thursday to give thanks and pray for the nation.
The National Day of Prayer service, organized by the Rowan Southern Baptist Association, is an event with years of history behind it.
This year, the half-hour service touched on what religious leaders said the nation needs most: security, humility and a return to basic values.
“We have a need to reflect on the heritage God has given us,” said pastor Mike Motley of Trading Ford Baptist Church.
He spoke of America’s settlers and founders, who he said acknowledged God as a part of their nation and of their daily lives.
“We’re still reaping the benefits,” Motley said.
Participants sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Motley played the guitar and led the group in singing “God Bless America.”
And Byron Sherman, pastor of Needmore Baptist Church, read a proclamation from the 1777 Continental Congress.
The address calls upon citizens of the newborn nation to set aside a day of thanksgiving for God’s goodness.
In his prayer for America, pastor Dale Robertson asked God to give the nation wisdom and fortitude.
He prayed Americans would turn away from drugs, promiscuity and materialism.
Instead, Robertson prayed that Americans would keep Sunday holy and return to God instead of “turning Sabbaths into days of pleasure.”
And Robertson gave thanks for the fact that Osama bin Laden had been brought to justice: “Praise God, we got him!”
The service ended with a chant of “U.S.A.!” from the small crowd gathered in the spring sunshine.
“I hope they leave with a renewed love for their country and a renewed dependence on God,” Robertson said afterward.
Many of those gathered were local ministers. Among them was Chris Williams, pastor of Woodleaf Baptist Church.
He said he was thankful for those who took the time to gather and pray for their nation.
Williams said he knew that there were disagreements among Americans.
But, he said, “in spite of our differences, to come together is a good feeling.”
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.