BETTENDORF, Iowa - The Rock Island Arsenal religious support team hosted a 2011 National Day of Prayer breakfast at The Lodge Hotel on May 5. Chaplain Dean Johnson was the guest speaker of the event that attracted approximately 250 attendees.

Johnson lives in Willmar, Minn., where he has been a parish pastor for more than 30 years. He served in the Minnesota House of Representatives for four years and the Minnesota Senate for 24 years. As a member the Army National Guard, Johnson retired at the rank of Brigadier General and served as the Special Assistant to the Chief of Chaplains.

"We pray for all our veterans and we pray for all the men and women who are wearing the uniform and your families," said Johnson. "So we thank God for you this day."

"This is a day of prayer across America." said Johnson. "We come together as God's people in prayer."

"God does hear our prayers. God has placed you and me in this life for a purpose and he does hear our prayers. Our silent prayers of thanksgiving, our silent prayers of praise, our silent prayers," said Johnson. "God does hear them, not only on this national day of prayer, God does hear prayer and will answer them in due time and due season."

Chaplain (Maj.) Chuck Rizer of the Army Sustainment Command and Chaplain (Maj.) Scott Fluegel of the Joint Munitions Command organized the joint event to recognize the National Day of Prayer. Following Johnson's speech, six clergy from Quad-City area offered prayers from their faith groups.

Brig. Gen. Brian Layer, Army Sustainment Command's deputy for sustainment, provided closing remarks and presented an appreciation plaque to Johnson for his dedicated support to the Soldiers and civilians and his inspirational message.

"There are probably a very few things that we could be doing with our time that's more productive or important than taking a few minutes to pray," Layer said, "to pray for peace in our world and peace in our community. I believe every prayer makes a difference."

The National Day of Prayer has been a vital part of United States history. In 1863 President Lincoln proclaimed a day of "humiliation, fasting and prayer." In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress that was signed by President Truman declared an annual, national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, establishing the first Thursday of every May as the official day of observance.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16