By Allen Payton
About 300 people attended the annual Antioch Prayer Breakfast at the Lone Tree Golf & Event Center, Thursday morning, to pray as part of the National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme was “Wake Up, America.”
The event, held on the first Thursday of May, each year, included prayers for our nation, state and local officials, military, businesses, as well as schools and students, led by various pastors and individuals.
Antioch Mayor Wade Harper opened the morning event with the Pledge of Allegiance and by quoting from the Bible, Second Chronicles, chapter seven, verse 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.”
He said “Prayer is not a spectator sport. You have to join in,” then led the audience in an opening prayer.
Those in attendance were also treated to a capella renditions of America the Beautiful and God Bless America by Emery Williams of The Church @ Antioch, and sang along with her during the latter song.
Pastor Larry Navilhon or Cornerstone Christian Center offered a prayer for our nation and state. SMS John Steger, USAF, Retired then prayed for the military. He was followed by Shantell Owens of Dickey’s Barbeque Pit who prayed for businesses in our community. Tim Forrester of the Antioch Unified School District then offered a prayer for our students and schools, followed by Pastor Kent Valentine of Calvary Open Bible Church who prayers for our local community and families.
Each time a prayer was said for a different level of government or different segment of our community, those who serve or work in that area were asked to stand.
Led by event coordinator Mike Pollard, those gathered then stood and joined in reciting this year’s National Prayer, written by Dr. Tony Evans, this year’s Honorary Chairman, as follows:
Dear heavenly Father, we come to You today as a humble people desperate for Your supernatural intervention on behalf of our beloved nation. First, we thank You for all the blessings You have bestowed on our land, blessings that have allowed us to bring so much good and benefit to not only our own citizens but also to the rest of the world. The very ideals upon which this country was founded were based on biblical truths, no matter how some try to rewrite history to deny that very fact today.
This is why our hearts are so broken over how You continue to be marginalized and dismissed by both our people and our institutions. We are also saddened by the fact that Your people have contributed greatly to the spiritual apathy that now engulfs us. Our satisfaction in remaining religious without being fully committed to living out the truths of Your Word has caused us to become co-conspirators with the forces of evil that are destroying us as a society.
It is for this reason that we personally and collectively repent of our carnality and recommit ourselves to becoming visible and verbal disciples of Jesus Christ. Enable us, by Your Spirit, to no longer be secret agent Christians but rather to publicly declare and live out Your truth in a spirit of love so that You feel welcome in our country once again.
Thank You for Your promise to hear our prayers when we call to You with hearts of repentance and obedience, which is how we are appealing to You today, Father. On behalf of Your church, we affirm afresh the priority You are to us that You would fill every dimension of our lives as we seek to bring You glory through the advancement of Your kingdom in our personal lives, our family lives, and in the lives of our churches and our government leaders. We confidently invite heaven’s intervention into all the affairs of our nation and we praise You in advance for Your answer.
In Jesus’ name we pray.
For more information about the annual observance, visit www.nationaldayofprayer.org.