ELKTON — Once again this year, churches in Cecil County are taking part in the National Day of Prayer Thursday and invite all to join with them to pray for families, education, the government, military, businesses and the workplace, the church and arts media and entertainment.
Those are considered the seven centers of influence, said Mary Ellen Beck, a member of Elkton Presbyterian Church and one of the organizers of their National Day of Prayer service.
At Elkton Presbyterian Church, 209 East Main St., there is a lunch time service from noon until 1 p.m. Beck is excited about the gathering after attending the National Day of Prayer Summit in September.
“It was a very inspirational group of people; very representative of the different sections of the country,” she said.
This is the 72nd year of the National Day of Prayer. This year’s verse is taken from the New Testament book of James, 5:16B, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”
While National Day of Prayer began with an act of Congress in 1952, it did not become an official organization until 1979 with the formation of committees. The first official National Day of Prayer observance was held in 1983 and Vice President George Bush was among the featured speakers. It became public law in 1988.
There are two evening National Day of Prayer services; both beginning at 6:30. Chesapeake City Ecumenical Association is hosting a service at Trinity United Methodist Church, 450 Third St. in Chesapeake City. Pleasant View Baptist Church, 150 Downin Lane in Port Deposit, is also hosting a National Day of Prayer service.
Becky Brewer, one of the Pleasant View organizers, said the service would include corporate and small group prayer.
“There will be small group prayer for each topic,” Brewer said.
Of those seven centers of influence, Beck said it is the family that is weighing most on her heart.
“The break up of the family is so evident and so impacting,” Beck said.
At Trinity UMC there will also be special music from the church choir and the opportunity to sing along as well. Eileen Viars said organizers this year went beyond Chesapeake City to find speakers including a representative of Deep Roots, a ministry for the homeless based in Earleville.
“We are reaching out past our normal boundaries to get different points of view,” Viars said.
All these services are free and open to everyone.
“Come and be encouraged in your faith as God brings His people together from Cecil County and surrounding areas,” Brewer said.
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