Marine Corps Logistics Base ALBANY Ga. --
For more than 10 years, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, has participated in the National Day of Prayer observance.
This year’s theme, “For God and Country,” was celebrated May 3 in the Town and Country Restaurant’s Grand Ballroom by nearly 70 base personnel.
This year’s speaker, retired Marine Capt. Ken Bevel, now an associate minister at Sherwood Baptist Church, Albany, Ga., reminded those in attendance they cannot live without prayer.
“I’m both honored and grateful for the humbling experience of coming back home to be with you all today,” he said. “I’m most grateful to God that he has blessed me with a wife and a mouth to tell others of His goodness and how He has treated me this far personally.”
Bevel said Congress came up with the National Day of Prayer for Americans to come together as a nation to fast, pray and meditate because it identified that Americans still need God - regardless of the situations they are in.
“When we get to the point in life that we cannot hold on any longer and are walking the tight rope of life because of losing families, jobs and everything else, prayer is the key to hold it all together,” he said. “Prayer is the net that will catch us and give us the peace that surpasses all understanding and it will keep our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
Bevel defined each letter of prayer as a Petition from a faith-filled heart, a Response from a worrying and weary heart, Authentic seeking of God’s plan so people’s lives can be aligned with His will, Your direct connection to listening and speaking to God, Essential for daily living and Release from things outside of individuals’ control.
“Prayer is not complicated, not a bargain or a plea with God and not a substitute for responsible actions,” he explained. “There are two things that people cannot dispute - answered prayer and changed lives. Those who know me well know I loved everything about the Marine Corps, but when God told me it was time to leave it all behind, I stood there on my retirement day in tears knowing it was His plan for my life.”
Bevel said it is often hard to balance work, family and other things going on in people’s lives, but relying on prayer is what got him through school, having children, deployments and tough times.
“My wife and I were living in California and we really wanted to have children, but after 12 years of marriage, we couldn’t,” he said. “Things were coming down all around me and I could not hold on any longer. We came up with the idea to make a prayer card and each of us prayed over it daily. Then things and situations we prayed for started happening.
“The specialists told us medically we could not have children, but eventually we did have two beautiful children,” Bevel added. “I’m living proof that praying without ceasing works.”
During his welcoming remarks, Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, called attention to a photo on the program featuring a Marine on one knee - praying.
“That is what today is all about and as we look around our own country and city, we have to know that it is time to go to prayer,” he said. “As we pray today and remember, I ask that you don’t just pray today, but every day and not just for this nation, but for everything.”
Lt. Kenneth Miller, base chaplain, MCLB Albany, described Bevel as a positive guy and a wonderful man of God, who is devoted to ministry and God’s people.
“Through a personal relationship we share and regular conversations, I know I’m the chaplain, but every time I talk to him, I always leave feeling more inspired, uplifted and motivated,” Miller said. “Since he left the Marine Corps, he has been involved in two movies, “Fireproof” and “Courageous,” which have given him a national platform to speak from.
“It’s amazing what a platform can do for you, but he has consistently turned down other opportunities to do what he is doing today and I truly appreciate him,” he added. “(I) am honored he came here today to share this time with us.”
In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Harry Truman, declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Ronald Reagan, permanently setting it as the first Thursday of every May.