Due to the hazardous effects of an extended drought, fire risks remain in the above-normal category throughout much of Garvin County and the forecast is offering little or no hope in the way of predicted rainfall.

In an attempt to bring some relief from the dangerously dry conditions, a group of Pauls Valley ministers have decided to seek the assistance of a much higher power and are calling on local citizens to join them in their efforts.

“A concern arose at our most recent Ministerial Alliance meeting over all the fires we’ve been having around here and how they have effected the lives of people in this area — threats to their homes and livelihoods,” said Rev. Tom Buzbee, pastor of the local First Presbyterian Church.

“We were all wondering what we should do to help and someone brought up the idea of having a special service where we could bring the community together and pray for some much-needed rain. Everyone said, ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’” he said.

“There was just no question it was the right thing.”

Rev. Buzbee said the first service will begin on Tuesday, Jan. 10 and will be held in the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church, located at the corner of Bradley and North Walnut.

The meeting is scheduled to be held during lunch and will be divided up into two separate parts.

“From 12 (noon) to 12:30 we’ll have a prayer time where people can come and go as they need to. We’ll have a more formal time from 12:30 to 1 (p.m.) when we’ll sing songs and have a local pastor read some scripture and lead us in prayer,” Pastor Buzbee explained.

“We’ll also be having a time of confession — both personal and corporate. I think before you ask God for something you need to have a humble heart, and confession is part of humbleness,” he said.

“Then we’ll lay our petitions and requests before God and give thanks for our firefighters.”

The meetings will continue to be held at the church until a break comes in the weather and the state receives the rain it so desperately needs.

After that, Rev. Buzbee said a final follow-up service will be held to offer up thanks to God for his merciful intervention.

Meanwhile, Gov. Brad Henry has set this Sunday, January 8, as a statewide day of prayer for rain.

“Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been affected by the wildfires,” Gov. Henry said. “Oklahomans are strong and resilient, but as people of deep faith in God who have always found solace and comfort in prayer, we understand our limits.

“As Oklahomans, we are doing everything in our power to control these blazes, protect lives and property and help those who have suffered, but our faith tells us we must also turn to God to see us through trying times like these. I ask all Oklahomans to join me in prayer for victims and their loved ones, for exhausted firefighters and first responders, and for rain.”

Since Nov. 1, Oklahoma has seen more than 350,000 acres scorched and more than 200 homes and businesses destroyed in the fires that are attributed with 2 fatalities and numerous injuries. The latest round of heavy wildfire activity began Dec. 27 and since then, fires have been reported in more than 30 counties.

Trending Video

This Week's Circulars

Recommended for you