Friday, May 4, 2012

Portsmouth prayer memories

My first pastorate was in Portsmouth, Ohio from 1991-1993. I was still in seminary and only commuted there for services on the weekends (crossing the Ohio River via the bridge linking Kentucky to the Buckeye State), although I was in town pretty much full time during the summer months. I remember working alongside several other area church leaders to coordinate community prayer events and pro-life rallies. This story, picked up by the Chicago Tribune from the local Portsmouth paper (the reporter's name is vaguely familiar), brought back some wonderful memories.
The power of prayer prevailed Thursday at the National Day of Prayer observance at the Scioto County Courthouse.

For 20 years, local pastors, ministers and residence of Scioto County have a Bible-reading marathon each year on the first Thursday in May. The ceremony began Monday, when participants read the Bible for four days, until the National Day of Prayer in the courthouse lobby.

It is a non-denominational effort in which churches from different Christian denominations participate. The event concluded at 3 p.m. Thursday when three designated ministers offered prayer for the local, state and federal government.

"This is the 20th year that Scioto County residents have participated in this," said Connie Weaver, who has helped with the coordination of the scripture readings and prayer gatherings since its inception. "The New Boston Ministerial Association is the group that started this, and I work with them."

"Our leaders need the prayers to help make the decisions that affect our community to be in compliance with God's Word," Weaver said. "Some judges are making decisions, high-level judges, that are not consistent with God's word. And we absolutely have to pray for them, that they will have guidance, that they can make the right decisions.

Anytime there is an opportunity to get the word out, Weaver said, even to help one person, it's worth the effort.