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National Day of Prayer: Dozens gather, pray for nation

By Nathan L. Hanks Jr. | | May 9, 2013

“We are an imperfect nation with imperfect people faced with imperfect circumstances and the answer is prayer. We must pray.”
Presiding Bishop Victor L. Powell, of Rhema Word Cathedral, Albany, Ga., guest speaker for Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s National Day of Prayer Breakfast, spoke these words to encourage people to pray.
The event was held at the Town and Country Restaurant’s Grand Ballroom, here, May 2.
This year’s theme, “Pray for America,” is based on Matthew 12:21 which states, “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
Col. Donald J. Davis, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, welcomed more than 70 attendees to the annual event.
“Prayer is such an important part of our lives,” he said. “We have faced a lot of challenges together in the past and will do so in the future.
“I believe our country is on its knees now as we remember those who were lost and maimed in the attacks in Boston, Massachusetts, and from the explosion in West City, Texas,” Davis added. “We pray for justice, compassion, closure and love. We pray for guidance, wisdom and righteousness.”
Powell, a Marine himself having formerly served in what is now Marine Depot Maintenance Command, spoke about what prayer means to him.
“Prayer is more than a subject for me, more than a term,” he said. “It transcends religion and what my doctorial beliefs are. You are talking about something beyond just words.”
Powell said prayer is for an imperfect nation.
“God makes a nation imperfect because he would rather its people be imperfect and pray than be perfect and not pray,” he said.
“Our nation is in trouble and facing many circumstances,” he said, referring to the recent attacks in Boston. “We don’t know why people bomb the innocent and kill people, but I do know when a nation is imperfect, it forces us to pray.”
According to Powell, prayer is for imperfect people.
“A person who is perfect sees no need to pray,” he said. “A person who (thinks he or she) has got it all figured out, has no need to pray. That means everyone needs to learn how to pray.”
When people are faced with imperfect circumstances, they are forced to have to pray, Powell said.
“If we are going to ever see God’s glory in this nation, God in his wisdom had to bring us to a place where nothing could change our circumstances, our nation or people but prayer,” he said.
“Cpl. Viviana Chavezarambula, administrative specialist, Military Personnel Center, MCLB Albany, attended her first prayer breakfast this year.
“I think prayer is important not only when you find yourself in a predicament, but all the time,” she said. “It gives people a peace that is only reachable by prayer and keeps you in touch with your spiritual side.”
President Barack Obama stated in the 2013 Day of Prayer Proclamation, “Prayer brings communities together and can be a wellspring of strength and support. In the aftermath of senseless acts of violence, the prayers of countless Americans signal to grieving families and a suffering community that they are not alone.”
In addition, Obama called on Americans to continue to pray for first responders, service members and their families who make sacrifices daily to ensure safety and freedom for Americans.