National Day of Prayer attracts area Christians
By Allen Palmeri
May 17, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Wind sent the American flag crashing to the platform at the 54th annual National Day of Prayer May 5 on the steps of the Capitol, but Cole County Sheriff Greg White knew just what to do.
The sheriff, who was seated with other dignitaries on the program, picked up the flagpole and held it in place. From then on, White and State Treasurer Sarah Steelman took turns holding the flagpole to prevent another calamity. White, a member of Southridge Baptist Church in Jefferson City, was able to smile afterwards about his impromptu rescue of Old Glory.
“Sarah Steelman and I have a great deal of respect for the symbol of our nation, so it was good to work together to keep the flag upright,” White said. “God provided.”
Steelman was the featured speaker. She called prayer “a beautiful tool” and touched on the richness of Micah 6:8.
“Those three words – justice, mercy and humility – should guide us every step of the way,” she said.
Several different denominations had places on the program. Roman Catholics, Southern Baptists, Pentecostals, Presbyterians and United Methodists all had their roles, with Douglas J. Crader, pastor, Jefferson City Christian Center Church serving as program coordinator.
“It’s a day that transcends differences, bringing together citizens from all backgrounds,” said Sen. Carl Vogel, R-Jefferson City.
Joe Skiles, pastor, Solid Rock Family Church, Jefferson City, was one of four community leaders who interceded for specific needs. Skiles prayed for churches and faith groups.
“Denomination is a man-made word,” Skiles said. “Before we were denominations, we were just believers.”
The official prayer for May 5 was written by Max Lucado. Desperation is one of his themes.
“We exist for Your glory,” Lucado wrote. “Showcase Your power through this land. Display Your justice in our courts, wisdom in our governments, guidance in our schools and love in our homes.”
Crader exhorted all of the Christians who came to the Capitol to pray May 5 not to be discouraged or faint of heart in the days to come as a holy God continues to fan the flame of a tangible, international prayer movement.
“Just because it’s a day of prayer doesn’t mean you are off the hook for another 364 days,” he said.