ARCHBOLD NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER … Gathered in unity to pray for the nation on May 5, 2022, this group participated in leading prayers in the Middle School Gym. The plan to meet in Ruihley Park was rained out and they were happy to have a welcoming place to meet. From left to right in the back are Jason Sharp, Karen and Marlin Gerig, Royal Short, Matt Gilroy and Brad Grime. Front Row was Roger Merillat, Susie Slawinski, Erich Christman, and Mari Yoder. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
The National Day of Prayer has been held on the first Thursday in May ever since 1988, when President Ronald Reagan amended and signed the law which had been established by joint resolution of Congress and signed by President Harry Truman, in 1952, that called for a National Day of Prayer.
It actually started way before that with the first Continental Congress calling for a NDP in 1775 and President Abraham Lincoln calling for such a day in 1863.
Even though it has been officially held on the first Thursday in May since 1988, there was not much mention of NDP being held on May 5, 2022, on national newscasts.
Many villages in Fulton and Williams Counties that have held events on this day in the past, did not hold one this year.
That may have been caused by the Covid Pandemic slow-down of everything that has occurred over the past two years, and in the future the cities and towns will get back on board for this important National observance.
There were a few National Day of Prayer meetings held in NW Ohio on May 5, 2022, with Montpelier at 8:30 a.m., Pioneer at noon, and Archbold at 6:30 p.m.
Pioneer holds theirs each year in the gazebo in the downtown area, welcoming everyone to gather around as local pastors and elected officials pray over the seven Centers of Influence. These are Government, Military, Education, Church, Family, Business and Media.
Each year, the Nat’l Day of Prayer Task Force calls for everyone to pray for each of these, but to focus particularly on one of them. For 2022, the main focus was on Media. A flyer giving excellent information and guidance on how to pray was available for groups who planned to observe this special day.
In Montpelier, the event was held at 9 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church on E. Main St., with a continental breakfast served at 8:30. Tables in the church’s dining area filled with local elected officials, church leaders and other believers there to lift the nation up to God in prayer.
House of Prayer worship team, Maranda Harris and Rene Heeres, led those gathered in a worship medley at the beginning and later in what could be called the theme song of the past year, “Waymaker”.
Reverend Eric Dailey, from the host church, welcomed everyone and led in prayer before Montpelier Steve Yagelski read the Proclamation, making May 5, 2022 the National Day of Prayer in Montpelier.
NDP PROCLAMATION … Montpelier Mayor Steve Yagelski read the proclamation at the National Day of Prayer event in Montpelier, Ohio which named May 5, 2022 as NDP in that community. (PHOTO BY FORREST CHURCH, STAFF)
Montpelier NDP chairman, GayLynn Harris greeted everyone and introduced the keynote speaker for the occasion.
She explained that as the NDP national task force had chosen to focus this year on praying for the media and entertainment, it was her pleasure to introduce editor and owner of The Village Reporter, Forrest Church as the speaker.
Church shared from his heart how it is a great opportunity to strive to share truth in the world of media, which has become known more for spin than for truth.
He agreed with Dailey who had mentioned how little attention was given to this day by the media.
Twenty years of having a print audience has been an honor, Church said, and went on to share three things that are needed in each community in order for communities to grow and be healthy.
One was Unity, the second Communication and the third was Remember History.
He pointed out how wonderful it is for him to see one ministry supporting another ministry, despite the fact they are not a part of the same organized church, but are part of “God’s Church.”
He stressed how important it is to put aside differences and develop relationships, commending the village of Montpelier on how they have grown in this area of communication over the past 20 years.
The use of technology has been great in some ways, but it has damaged real relationships and true communication. Communication in person or at least by speaking on the phone is so needed.
He reminisced how when he first bought the paper, people were “knocking down the doors” to let them know of events and things that should be covered by the paper.
“Now we have to work hard to get many organizations to share with us when they have something we should cover.”
He encouraged everyone to let the local media know of important things that are happening, put up a poster at the post office and do not depend only on social media to get out the word.
He pointed out that real vs. virtual can be a big gap. The need to take a meal to a hurting family, give them a hug and pray for them in person is great, despite how helpful it is to make a donation on GoFundMe, or tell them on social media that you are praying for them. Focus on the first-person relationships.
One topic which has come up over and over lately in many gatherings, in secular studies, and in the media is the huge growth in mental illness.
He encouraged everyone to pray for real relationships and for the mental health of those in the community and those suffering from depression.
Point three was Support of Local Businesses, and he spoke of how what goes in the paper has changed so much in the past 140 years.
What must it have been like for the publisher in 1920? What challenges faced them? As he and his family have faced some major challenges as owners of The Village Reporter, he is grateful for how God has gotten them through each one.
He encouraged all community members to support local businesses in prayer as each one faces challenges and you may not have any idea what they are going through as they serve you.
Life is hard and many times things happen that throw a local business into chaos, so keep them in your prayers.
They are the backbone of the community and as “Mom and Pop” businesses face challenges, prayer is needed.
He reiterated the needs: 1. Prayer for Unity among brothers and sisters of Christ to work together for the betterment of our community; 2. Prayer for real, godly, first-person relationships to develop with members of our community to fight the epidemic of mental illness and depression; and 3. Prayer for local small businesses and their owners as a key element to the success of any small town.
The Prayer Time began with House of Prayer Pastor Benaiah Harris praying for the Federal, State and Local government officials.
Mrs. Pat Warner from Sacred Heart Catholic Church prayed for the U.S. Armed Forces. Familes and Marriages were lifted to God by River of Life Pastor Homer Miller.
Before praying for School Teachers and Students, Reverend Paul Gruetter from St. John’s Lutheran Church shared the great news that Montpelier HS students have a “Prayer Locker” into which they can drop written prayer needs and a group of students prays over them.
House of Prayer Pastor Eric Howell prayed for the local Churches and Clergy. Pastor Adam Fox from Church of Christ knelt to pray for the Media, Internet and Newspapers, asking God “to cripple the pornography industry.”
Elder Pat Creek from First Presbyterian Church prayed by name for almost every Business and Workplace in Montpelier as well as for blessing and bountiful crops for the farmers, asking for divine intervention in the economics of the nation and this area.
The meeting ended with everyone standing to sing “God Bless America” as the closing prayer.
In Archbold, a group gathered in the old gym at the Middle School at 6:30 p.m. that night. This group, led by Jason Sharp, pastor of Archbold United Methodist Church, with the meeting planned by the Archbold Ministerial Association, kept their meeting to a half hour, focusing on prayer for eight areas of influence. They added Health Care to the seven Centers of Influence listed by the National Task Force of the NDP.
The Scripture verses, Colossians 2:6&7, say, “As we have received Christ Jesus the Lord we walk in Hi, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and stablished in our faith, just as we were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.” Sharp announced the them and read this scripture.
For the prayer time, Marlin and Karen Gerig from Pettisville Missionary Church prayed for the Family and Marriages; The Church was prayed for by Pastor of St. John’s Christian Church Erich Christman; Royal Short, Archbold HS Principal for Education; Matt Gilroy from Fulton County Economic Development Corporation prayed for the Workplace; U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran Roger Merillat prayed for the Military; Archbold Mayor Brad Grime prayed for Government;Susie Slawinski who is Worship Leader at Archbold UMC and music teacher at Delphos St. John’s School, prayed for Art, Media and Entertainment; with Mari Yoder, Director of Development at Fairlawn Retirement Community praying for Medical/Care Facilities. Christman prayed a prayer for the nation as a whole and Sharp led the entire group in The Lord’s Prayer.
The prayers that were prayed at the Archbold gathering were provided by the National Task Force and as each one ended, the entire group spent a moment in silent prayer for that center of influence. Each one was deep and heart-warming, leading to a sweet sense of unity as everyone prayed silently.
For the benefit of all who did not get to attend a National Day of Prayer event, those prayers are printed here for use in your home or with groups, throughout the coming year:
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established the Family:
We praise you Lord as our Creator; making each of us in Your image, and to be in a relationship with You. You are our Father and we are Your children. You said, “It is not good for man to be alone” and created woman, to be united to man in marriage. (Genesis 2:22-24) It is only by Your wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4).
We pray that every parent would train up their children in Your Word and prayer and Your name would be praised in all generations (Proverbs 22:6 & Psalm 45:17) We pray for the widow and the orphan; that they would know Your everlasting love and presence as You never leave or forsake us.
We pray for the Family… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the family, we exalt You! Amen.
We exalt the Lord who has established the Church:
Jesus, You are the Head and we are Your body; commanded to go show Your love and share Your gospel. You are the Vine and we are the branches; deeply rooted, and by Your Spirit, for Your glory we bear much fruit. (John 15) You have purchased us with Your blood and defeated death.
(Acts 20:28) You are worthy of our wonder and worship always. May all we think, say, and do exalt You as our Savior and express the assurance and hope we have in the salvation You have established for us.
You have put Your purpose in us to take Your message and magnify and multiply it in all places where You have established our steps for Your Kingdom and glory.
We pray for the Church… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the Church, we exalt You! Amen.
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established Business and the Workplace:
You are the Potter and we are the clay; Your workmanship created Christ Jesus for good works, which You established and prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
(Isaiah 64:8, Ephesians 2:10) You have established our gifts and talents, education and experiences and we commit our works to You knowing our plans will be established. (Proverbs 16:3) You set Adam’s hand to cultivate the garden.
You created us to be active and to accomplish; to labor and not be lazy in our living and in our giving. (Exodus 20:9) Our work is worship; a response to Your work and will in our lives.
We pray for the workplace… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the workplace, we exalt You!
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established Education:
Jesus, You are the Teacher and we are Your disciples, Your students. God has established that a wise man is strong, and a man of knowledge increases power.
(Proverbs 24:5) From preschool to the college campus we pray that every student, educator, parent and staff would walk in the fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom.
We know even from babes You have established strength and ordained praise (Psalm 8:2) and we pray that nothing would be done to hinder them from coming to You. (Matthew 19:14) Convict every campus to teach Truth and for all generations to know Your Word and ways.
We pray for the Education… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the Education, we exalt You! Amen.
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established the Military:
The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. God alone commands Heaven’s army, His angels, mighty in strength, who perform His Word, obeying the voice of His Word! May our military, like all His hosts, bless the Lord as they serve Him, and do His will.
(Psalm 103) May our military leaders all know, “by wise guidance you will wage war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory.”
(Proverbs 24:6) We pray that our military would dwell in the shelter of the Most High and abide in the shadow of the Almighty – always keeping alert as they serve and preserve freedom. (Psalm 91:1) Lord You will establish peace for us, and Your peace You have given us (Isaiah 26:12, John 14:27)
We pray for the Military… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the Military, we exalt You! Amen.
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established the Government:
America was imagined in Your righteousness; with vision of freedom and justice You established us. Lord, in obedience to You we pray for all who are in authority that they will come to knowledge of truth and be saved.
(1 Timothy 2:2) Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For There is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (Romans 13:1) We pray that our laws would honor and exalt You.
Let justice flow from our courts, in every individual, and sector of society as we claim to cling to Your promise of Your throne Jesus, “There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace… to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from then on and forevermore…” (Isaiah 9:7)
We pray for the Government… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established the Government, we exalt You! Amen.
ART, MEDIA, & ENTERTAINMENT
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established Arts, Entertainment and Media:
Lord, You poured out Your beauty and complexity in Your creation. You established our talents for Your testimony; our gifts for Your glory on stage, sets, and screens.
(James 1:17, 1 Corinthians 12:7-11) We pray that the arts would exalt You and reflect the majesty of our Creator; never worshipping creation or that made by our hands; (Deuteronomy 4:15-20) that music and museums would be filled with Your praise, and that media would speak the truth in love. (Ephesians 4:15) Let those who dance worship You as King David did, expressing praise and overflowing with gratitude. (2 Samuel 6:14)
We pray for Arts, Entertainment, and Media… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established Arts, Entertainment, and Media, we exalt You! Amen.
HEALTH, MEDICAL & CARE FACILITIES
We Exalt the Lord Who has Established Health, Medical and Care Facilities:
Jesus, You are the Great Physician, you came to heal the sick physically and spiritually (Mark 2:17). You took our infirmities on Yourself, and it is by Your wounds that we are healed (Isaiah 53:5).
You have empowered Your Church through prayer to seek wholeness for those who are suffering brokenness of all kinds (James 5:13-15). As You have empowered discoveries of medicine to improve our well-being, we ask that You continue to be with those who have dedicated themselves to the ministry of the physical body.
May all who reside in care facilities or live under the care of medical professions feel Your healing touch, the calming presence of the Holy Spirit, and be drawn closer to God Almighty.
We pray for Health, Medical and Care Facilities… (Pause for opportunity of prayer among those gathered).
O Lord who has established Health, Medical and Care Facilities, we exalt You! Amen.
2022 NATIONAL PRAYER
Lord, we exalt You. We are filled with awe and wonder as our praise joins the heavenly hosts saying, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory.”
You established the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth. You alone are the Creator; the earth is Yours and all it contains is for Your glory. You created and established all of us as Your image bearers.
May our lips and lives continually praise You, reflecting and magnifying You in all our words and ways. You are the author of our days, You have established Your plans and purpose for us.
We respond to Your glory and authority in obedience to Your Word and will. You have established prayer that we, Your children, can communicate with our Heavenly Father directing, strengthening, and discipling us in Your everlasting love.
We join heaven’s activities as we lift up our prayers and pour out our praise, repentance, thanks, intercession and supplication.
Lord, You have established America through the hearts of our founding fathers and the documents they penned declaring our dependence on Your sovereignty and supremacy.We overflow with gratitude having been firmly rooted and built up in our faith in You.
Let our reputation be of our faith in Christ alone, our love for all people, and fruitful lives bearing the attitude, affections, and actions of your Spirit, Who dwells and works within us and through us.
We pray for America: the Church, Family, Education, Military, Workplace, Government, Arts, Entertainment, Media, and Medicine.
United in Your love, we exalt the Lord Who has established us. In Jesus Name we always pray, Amen!
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org