First Posted: 5/7/2015
Participants in the 64th annual National Day of Prayer ceremony in front of the Mount Airy Municipal Building Thursday afternoon were reminded God “over answers” prayers.
“On this day the Mount Airy Ministerial Association and the citizens of Surry County will join millions of people from over 40,000 gatherings at a variety of locations in the U.S.,” said Mount airy Ministerial Association president Rev. Bob Josey. He told the audience the theme of this year’s event is “Lord, Hear our cry and the prayer of your servant” from the Bible’s book of First Kings, chapter 8, verse 28.
Flat Rock Pentecostal Holiness Pastor Dr. David Sparks delivered the sermon for the ceremony. He said the adage God answers prayers is half of the truth because God delights in giving more than is asked for.
“He (God) way yonder over answers prayer,” said Sparks. “I’m going to build a case from down through the ages. He always gives more than we ask for and gives us things we wouldn’t have ever thought to ask.” He said the Book of Hosea describes how once Israel returned to godly ways and prayer the nations was forgiven, cleansed and renewed with blessings beyond imagination.
Sparks then told the group that King Solomon’s prayer was to be granted an understanding heart. God did this and also heaped riches and honor on the ruler. He explained how King David’s prayer not to die early was granted along with honors and gladness. He said David is still revered thousands of years later in Israel.
He included examples from the New Testament as well, citing the sick man brought before Jesus on a bed who was healed and also had all his sins forgiven. Sparks noted that the thief hanging on a cross beside Jesus prayed to be remembered and was told he would be with Jesus in paradise that very day. He said the disciple Peter had no money but healed a crippled beggar asking for alms, which far exceeded what the beggar expected.
“The New Testament is filled with examples. God loves to over-answer the prayers of his people,” Sparks said. “God is virtually begging us to ask for great things so he can over answer. Are we too timid to ask God for great and mighty things? Let’s begin to seek great answers to prayers for our beloved America.”
Sparks said America needs to repent from its backsliding and said the nation would benefit from an old-fashioned, Holy Ghost revival to sweep from shore to shore and from border to border.
The ceremony began with patriotic music played on the accordion by Ron Radatz. Trumpet player Don Warren followed with a selection of patriotic songs. The East Surry High School Junior Officers Reserve Training Corps cadets presented the colors and led participants in the Pledge of Allegiance.
The National Anthem was sung by Mildred Gillespie and Norma Hunter. Mayor Pro Tem Steve Yokeley read the National Day of Prayer proclamation. Central United Methodist Church Pastor Jim Pyatt delivered the Prayer for America’s Hope and Police Chaplain Gray Shelton gave the benediction. The ceremony concluded with participants singing “God Bless America.”
Yokeley’s proclamation noted the call for prayer has continued throughout America’s history, establishing prayer as a vital part of the nation’s heritage. Chaplain Gray Shelton gave thanks to be in a nation where people were allowed to pray and told the audience to receive God’s blessings with a humble heart. More that 60 participated in the ceremony held on the municipal building’s front lawn.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on [email protected]