On May 4, members of the Fort McPherson community gathered near the flagpole on Hedekin Field at Fort McPherson to take part in the 60th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer (NDP). The NDP, made an official day of observation by President Harry Truman, sets aside the first Thursday of May as a day for various faith groups to get together to pray for the country and its institutions.
This year's theme was "A mighty fortress is our God," based on Psalm 91:2 - He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. Chap. (Lt. Col.) Bob Phillips, U.S. Army Garrison chaplain, said there is power in prayer, especially when people gather in a community.
Attendees used their communal power to set forth separate prayers for the government and military, for people in the media, business and education, and finally for the church and Families.
Chap. (Lt. Col.) Claude Crisp, Third Army/U.S. Army Central deputy command chaplain, served as guest speaker for the event, taking time to share justifications for prayer from both the Christian Bible's Old and New Testaments.
Crisp first spoke of King Darius of Babylon, who allowed the Jews living in exile to rebuild their temple.
As recorded in Ezra 6:3-5, Darius allowed the temple to be rebuilt using funds from the Babylonian royal treasury. Crisp said Darius realized the Jew's prayers had power and wanted that blessing himself, reminding attendees that just like in Darius' time, our "prayer has the ability to move God."
Crisp also spoke of the Apostle Paul's letter to Timothy, which contained instructions on prayer.
Crisp said the guidance, found in 1 Timothy 2, encourages believers to pray for leaders.
"Our leaders hurt like us," he said, adding it is important to pray for their peace so they can work to help bring about peace on Earth.