Miss-Lou residents celebrate Day of Prayer

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 8, 2009

VIDALIA — Heads bowed, hands raised, repentant and thankful, Miss-Lou residents joined the national litany of thanksgiving and intersession Thursday as they gathered at noon for the National Day of Prayer.

A small group met in Memorial Park in Natchez, and Community Chapel Church of God Associate Pastor Bo Swilley said a day of prayer is appropriate because the nation is in great need of prayer.

“It’s in greater need now that ever. We’re in a situation now where a lot of people are in dire straights,” Swilley said. “There are so many unknowns and a lot of young people are in danger of losing themselves.”

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Bethel Church Pastor Troy Thomas led the service at Vidalia City Hall, and at the start he read verses from the second chapter of the first epistle to Timothy.

“It says to pray for the king — that sounds like the president or the governor — and are who are in authority,” Thomas said. “That sounds like the sheriff, mayor or police jury members.”

During the 30-minute service, those in attendance spontaneously broke into prayer or song, tunes ranging from “Amazing Grace” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” to “God Bless America.”

When he prayed, Thomas thanked God for his grace, and asked for continued mercy.

“You haven’t given our town or our nation what we deserve,” he said.

“You have been good to us.”

Vidalian Melvin Demby agreed.

“You (God) have been better to us than we have been to ourselves,” he said.

That grace has included economic development, Thomas said.

“For every godly business, we thank God, and for every business that would destroy the community, we pray they would not be allowed to come in,” he said.

Thomas also prayed for the area to be delivered from a culture of drug use.

And any change that is going to come will have to start with a changed heart, he said.

“We have to forgive those who hurt us the worst,” Thomas said.

Catholic Seminarian Anthony Catella prayed for the conversion and repentance of the nation’s leaders, and for protection for the nations’ troops.

He also thanked God for allowing him to be born in the United States.

Vidalian RV Mize prayed for peace.

“Too often we look to weapons of war, but peace can only come with (God),” Mize said.

And like many others at the service, Mize prayed for the President.

“He has a load upon him,” Mize said.

A Day of Prayer event was also hosted in Ferriday.

An annual event, the National Day of Prayer is the first Thursday of May.