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Residents, officials pray for intervention
24-hour vigil preceeds National Day of Prayer
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Liberty County residents pray together with religious leaders Thursday during the National Day of Prayer service on the courthouse annex steps. - photo by Photo by Alena Parker.
Harris Singleton Jr. had the midnight shift.
Mildred Baker came in at 2 a.m.
Around the clock, more than 40 area residents trickled into St. Phillips Episcopal Church during a county-wide prayer vigil for divine intervention in Liberty County.
The 24-hour vigil started Wednesday at 11 a.m. and led to yesterday’s National Day of Prayer demonstration at the courthouse annex.
“It was nothing for me to come out and intercede,” Singleton said. “That’s something that would help this community.”
Help was definitely needed this year, Baker said, and that prompted the first prayer vigil.
“People seem not to have hope,” she said, citing the economic slump.
“When your pocketbook is hurting, there’s a crying out going on.”
The vigil was to show strength in numbers and Baker expected to see everything she prayed for manifested.
“The atmosphere was charged,” Baker said. “When you’re in the presence of God, you got to come out changed.”
“If we pray and believe God, He will change things,” Singleton agreed.
Change seemed to be yesterday’s battle cry as the speaker, the Rev. Doug Force of Hinesville United Methodist Church, focused his address on the adage that prayer changes things.
“I never forgot that over the years,” Force said. “I’ve learned prayer does not always change all things, but prayer can change you.”
All things are possible if people are willing to change and become “co-partners with God in our world,” he said.
“He calls each of us to be active in bringing reconciliation to the world,” Force said.
And guardians of world freedom should not be forgotten.
“God, you know where they’re hurting, where their challenges are, better than I or anyone else does,” said Chap. (Maj.) Michael Reeves in his prayer for the military.
Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas asked petitioners to included the assignment of Fort Stewart’s fifth brigade and homeless relief.
“I believe God is going to take them [the homeless] off the streets,” Baker said.
“[God] would never turn a deaf ear to us,” said Pastor Aaron Cowart, who invited the group to raise their eyes and drop to their knees.
“For we know where our help comes from,” Cowart said.
Dr. Tim Byler excited the crowd of about 60 when he reminded them of the freedom to organize in public prayer.
“You’ve given us the privilege to live in a county called Liberty,” Byler said in prayer.
Pastor Daisy Edwards asked that school children be shielded from “drug dealers and every negative impact that they may encounter,” and “not be led by philosophy or teachings contrary to the truth.”
“Now help us to understand the work doesn’t stop here,” said Pastor Richard Hayes during the benediction. “Unite us and ignite us to do a great work for You.”
“I was very pleased,” said Father Will Carter of the vigil. “I think God liked it.”
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