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Liberty County observes National Day of Prayer
More than 150 gather in front of historic courthouse
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Attendees lift their hands and bow their heads while a prayer is said at the National Day of Prayer observance in front of the Liberty County Courthouse on Thursday. - photo by Photo by Jason Wermers

Thursday was the 65th annual National Day of Prayer, sparking public prayer gatherings around the country, including on the front steps of the Liberty County Courthouse.

More than 150 people attended the Hinesville gathering, which was organized by the United Ministerial Alliance of Liberty County.

DeRon Harper, of the Liberty County Branch of the NAACP, kicked off the observance, saying that gatherings like the one in Hinesville — outside, in public view — show that Christianity is alive and well in the United States.

“There are some that (are) under the assumption and the belief that they try to — our religion, they try to put it in a little jar and try to put us away,” he said. “But if you look around, let’s take inventory real quick. If you look up, I don’t see any ceiling. When you look around, I don’t see any walls. We’re out here in broad daylight, ready to pray to God.”

The House of Prayer Youth Choir sang “Heal Our Land,” which is based on 2 Chronicles 7:14: “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

A series of ministers led the gathering in prayers.

Richard Hayes, pastor of New Day Community Church and president of the alliance, addressed the day’s theme, “Wake Up, America.”

“If there ever was a time to do this, it most certainly is now,” he said. “We live in a time where it seems that right is wrong, and wrong is right. And where the word of God used to be the authority for a moral standard of excellence, but now it seems like anything goes. We’re quick to talk about how prayer was taken out of schools, but we won’t talk about how we’ve stopped praying in our own homes. We’ve made fun and entertainment our biggest priority. We’ve made money our motivation, and then we give God our leftovers.”

Hayes continued, “I’ve got some good news. Christ is still king. … He still reigns on the throne.”

This year’s Scripture was Isaiah 58:1, which says in part, “Shout it aloud, do not hold back. Raise your voice like a trumpet.” Hayes encouraged those gathered to shout the name of Jesus, and they responded in kind.

Katrina Deason, pastor of Liberty Prayer Chapel, prayed for the nation.

“Dear heavenly Father, we come to you today as a humble people desperate for your supernatural intervention on behalf of this nation,” she said.

“First, we thank you for all the wonderful blessings you have bestowed on our land — blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit, not only to our own citizens, Lord, but also to the rest of the world.”

Pastor Hermon Scott of Baconton Missionary Baptist Church prayed for the military.

“We come now to say, ‘Thank you, sir,’ for the brave men and women who selflessly give of themselves on long deployments, long training missions, long combat missions around this world so that we right here in Liberty County can be safe,” he said.

Pastor Douglas Harn of Victory Assembly of God prayed for the community.

“Father, as we come to you today, Lord, we pray and we ask that you would inspire all of those that lead and serve in this community,” he said.

“May they know your guidance and your direction, for we know that your word tells us, Father God, that the footsteps of a righteous man (are) ordained by you.”

Pastor Daisy Edwards of Agape Christian Fellowship prayed for the schools and children.

“We pray that our children will find favor, good understanding and high esteem in your sight and in the judgment of their teachers and their classmates,” she said. “... Father, thank you for giving them an aptitude for every kind of learning, that they may be well-informed, quick to understand and qualified to serve you.”

Hayes’ daughter, Leah Hayes, an Armstrong State sophomore, led the gathering in singing “God Bless America.”

Harper concluded by encouraging the people to “shake somebody’s hand and praise the Lord on your way out.”

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