Words of wisdom offered at Cabarrus breakfast

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 6, 2011

By Hugh Fisher
CONCORD — At Great Wolf Lodge on a clear Thursday morning, more than 300 people took up a challenge: Turn off the cellphones, have a nourishing meal with fellowship and give thanks to God.
The fifth annual National Day of Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the Cannon Memorial YMCA, delivered praise songs and words of inspiration.
Local pastors and leaders offered prayers for different parts of society and different walks of life: churches, families, elected leaders.
“God, make us more holy,” pastor Jonas Perez of Parkwood Baptist Church said in his prayer for communities. “Humble our community. Raise up humble leaders.”
Lt. Col. Sandy Yow, wing chaplain for the 145th Airlift Wing of the N.C. Air National Guard, offered a prayer for soldiers.
First, Yow reminded the audience of the sacrifices and the emotional strain that service places on men and women.
Suicides and broken marriages can result from that strain, as well as the reality that serving one’s nation can mean killing, or dying, for that cause.
“God’s going to call some of them home,” Yow said. “Let’s pray for their families that the Holy Spirit will care for them.”
The day’s keynote speaker was Dr. Dennis Williams, who heads an organization called Youth Christian International.
“I do believe that our prayers are changing the world,” Williams said.
He spoke on how the busy individuals at the prayer breakfast could take time out of their lives to pray, not especially on one day a year, but every day.
“If you increase your prayer life, you will begin to pray with greater confidence,” Williams said.
“Be still, be quiet and allow the God of the universe to speak.”
Attendees said they were leaving excited and energized.
“I hope this helps folks realize that church is the only man-made institution that has the power to set our society back on course,” said Ed Hosack, executive director of Cooperative Christian Ministry.
“Prayer is the most effective tool” to make those changes, he said.
Organizer Elizabeth Lindsey, executive director of the West Cabarrus branch of the YMCA, said the event had exceeded expectations.
“It was a blessing, everything we hoped for and a bit more,” she said.
As the morning’s program drew to a close, master of ceremonies John Cox, president and CEO of the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, issued one last challenge:
He asked those who’d taken time to gather to keep their cellphones off for just a little longer and continue the spirit of fellowship they’d had at the start of the morning, and keep it throughout the day.
Contact Hugh Fisher via the editor’s desk at 704-797-4244.