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Natl Day of Prayer-OKC service: 'All of us are soldiers for the Lord'

The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
For several years, the National Day of Prayer State Capitol observance has been relocated to a downtown Oklahoma City church due to repair work at the Capitol building.

No matter.

People of faith have converged on the temporary site at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma  City as faithfully as they did at the Capitol.

Mike Jestes, chairman of the Oklahoma National Day of Prayer, thanked the crowd for their attendance and support.

"For you to be here today demonstrates that you believe in prayer and it demonstrates humility. It demonstrates your being able to tell God 'we need your help.' It demonstrates your need to say we need healing in our Land," Jestes said.

"I want to be part of that catalyst and you do, too."

The prayer day event, with the theme "For Your Great Name's Sake!: Hear Us ... Forgive Us ... Heal Us!" included prayers and sermonettes from religious leaders and other leaders from the community and state. Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performed several songs, including "America the Beautiful." Another group, Nation United, sang "Amazing Grace" in English, Korean and the Choctaw Indian language.

Often, the speakers spoke of America's tradition of prayer.

"Prayer, both public and private, has been a great tradition in our country from the start," said Bill Graves, Oklahoma County District Court judge, who was asked to pray for the nation's leaders, president, country and state.

Graves praised the crowd's commitment to public prayer and the expression of Christian faith values in a time when "Christian principles and values are frowned upon by too many people.

"It takes courage to proclaim the values that made America great," he said.

Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performs at a National Day of Prayer observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]
Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performs at a National Day of Prayer observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

Lisa Billy, a former state legislator and current Chickasaw Nation tribal legislator, and the Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, both drew enthusiastic applause from the audience with the remarks.

"We are like a quilt with all the different colors and patterns and when we come together, the Word says where there is unity, there is an anointing, there is power," Billy said.

"Use us, Father, to bring revival in America. Let's each walk in Your covenant as a lifestyle," she said in her prayer for American Indian and cultural recognition.

In his prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders, Neisent came into agreement with the prayer gathering's theme.

"God hear our prayers. God heal our land. God forgive our sins for your name's sake. Raise up praying men and women who will take control of the air space in their homes, who will take control of the air space in their neighborhood, they'll take control of the air space in their workplace, they'll take control of the air space in places of government, in places of media, in places of education," Neisent said.

"Lord, strengthen our churches to empower families to florourish, unlocking Your kingdom on Earth as it is in heaven, in Jesus' mighty name."

Other speakers for the observance included Col. Dedrick Hoskins, deputy chief information officer of the Oklahoma National Guard, who led a prayer for the nation's military and protection personnel.

Like Jestes and Graves, Hoskins said he was grateful for the crowd and excited about the opportunity to petition the Lord in prayer together.

"All of us are soldiers for the Lord," he said. "The Gospel tells us we have to reach out to everyone."

Meanwhile, John D. Fozard, Ph.D., president of Mid-America Christian University, led the crowd in a prayer for education.

"Grant us, Oh Lord, that the sources of knowledge are based upon thy truth and your divine revelation to us. And Lord save us from our personal and social agendas that deviate from honoring you as Lord of all," Fozard said in his prayer which included petitions for school teachers and administrators in "this extremely difficult time for education."

"Grant our congressional leaders and our legislators a heart to collaborate with one another to prioritize resources for educating and preparing today's work force," Fozard said in prayer.  

Carla Hinton

Religion Editor 

Related Photos
The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b6cd7ed76ecb0006e5a7666cc48708b1.jpg" alt="Photo - The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] " title="The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>The Rev. Lawrence Neisent, pastor of Destiny Christian Center in Del City, leads a prayer for churches, pastors and spiritual leaders at a National Day of Prayer Service observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-642daaf1f4554dad6cdd8a4a8908dd39.jpg" alt="Photo - Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performs at a National Day of Prayer observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] " title="Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performs at a National Day of Prayer observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] "><figcaption>Voices, a musical group directed by Mark Taylor, performs at a National Day of Prayer observance on Thursday, May 4, at First United Methodist Church of Oklahoma City. [Photo by Carla Hinton, The Oklahoman] </figcaption></figure>
Carla Hinton

Carla Hinton, an Oklahoma City native, joined The Oklahoman in 1986 as a National Society of Newspaper Editors minority intern. She began reporting full-time for The Oklahoman two years later and has served as a beat writer covering a wide... Read more ›

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