Athens Review, Athens, Texas

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May 1, 2013

Bow your heads

Pastors find easy topics on ‘National Day of Prayer’

Athens — Henderson County joins the rest of the country in observing the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, with a gathering at noon on the west side of the courthouse lawn.

The day has been on the nation’s calendar since 1952, and President Barack Obama issued a proclamation on May 1 continuing the tradition. Henderson County has held a courthouse observance for the past several years.

   Dr. Tony Romans of the Faith Fellowship Church in Athens said when Henderson County residents bow their heads, a prayer for our nation is a good place to start.

 “I think it’s great that we have a day on the calendar to remind us that we’re a nation that was built by prayer,” Romans said. “Prayer for our nation — that’s why it was started by presidential decree years ago.”

Romans said the U.S. needs to return to God, and stay close to Him.

“Those of us who are out of our teenage years have a sense that our nation is in a dangerous moral place,” Romans said. “I think that’s what our county should be praying for — an American Revival.”

Romans said the United States has experienced three sweeping revivals, known as “Great Awakenings” in its history, and desperately needs another.

“We need to pray for what Paul calls in Ephesians, true righteousness and holiness, Romans said. “It seems odd to me that the apostle, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, had to put the word true in there, but Satan always has counterfeits.”

Sand Springs Baptist Church Pastor Erick Graham said he has seen signs on Henderson County lawns saying “Prayer, America’s only hope.”

“I look at that sign and say, that’s right, but they’re skipping over step one. For prayer to be effective, we first need to humble ourselves,” Graham said.

 If Americans come humbly before God, they can see his power at work, Graham said. But we are living in an era when respect for God has diminished.

“God has blessed America. He’s blessed us exceedingly,” Graham said. “It’s time for America to bless God. The word bless means to speak well of. His name is not highly revered in this nation anymore and we need to turn that around.”

  Graham said he doesn’t direct his prayers to an unknown being, but a specific person.

 “I don’t use God in a generic form, we pray in Jesus’ name. He is our avenue. He said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life and no one comes to the father but by me,”’ Graham said.

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