Pauls Valley Democrat
Thursday’s unprecedented May cold snap may have provided little comfort for those who spent any time outside, but despite wet and chilly conditions, the turnout was still strong for Pauls Valley’s National Day of Prayer.
Warmth of both the physical and spiritual kind was instead found inside the backup location at First Presbyterian Church with those in attendance using it as both a way to strengthen their own faith and get reacquainted with friends they hadn’t seen in fellowship recently.
This included visits by individuals like Lynn Bassett and her sister Johnece Ryerson, natives of Pauls Valley that chose the event to catch up, coming in from where they live now in Wichita Falls, Texas and Alva respectively.
“I just think it’s important we get back to our faith,” said Bassett. “There are so many things that interrupt or are in competition with it.”
They also still own the house they grew up in and thought it was a nice escape from troubles of the outside world. The sisters were glad to see so many people there, but hope in the future more young people follow the example.
“Sometimes we get so busy we forget that,” said Ryerson. “It’s a time to center your life around a higher being.”
Some like PV resident L.D. Smith actually liked the change versus meeting at the flag pole on the courthouse lawn in previous years. He noted while it was great to see so many people from different churches in one place, that it was also sad how it can’t be more than just one national day.
L.D. then added proudly how he’s been a Christian since he was 13 years old. His wife Sammy also came along and said she was glad the day was there since it gives everyone a chance to examine their own feelings on what they need to do for repentance and how to improve for the future.
“Prayer is a communication of peace with God,” said Smith. “We’ve got to have that communication.”
For PV resident Ed Black, he was glad for the opportunity to pray for the nation since he sees it as being in bad shape.
He said there needs to be a return to focusing on how to change course for government officials and lamented how the creator has been taken out of too many things.
“I want the lord to take care of us,” said Black.
“I think we need to keep God in the forefront because without him we wouldn’t have the country we have today.”
By the time it was over, at least half the sanctuary was full with around 80 to 90 visitors to hear pastors associated with the PV Ministerial Alliance pray for everyone from said leaders on every level across the country to emergency officials and a good year for the residents ahead.
Stepping down from a year as president of the alliance before the next one takes over, First Christian Church pastor Peggy Farris gave one of the several prayers that day in words that summed up the overall message delivered.
“We pray that because of this our state will be blessed and blessed because you are here, more intently here than ever before,” said Farris. “And so for each one of us here that we feel that spirit as well… that we may share with others.”