GALION — Galion area ministers and residents gathered Thursday to lead a virtual observance of the National Day of Prayer.
Led by Rev. Bill Seymour and other members of the Galion Area Ministerial Association (GAMA), pastors and lay leaders offered prayers for all facets of society, including local, state, and federal governmental leaders; law enforcement and first responders; educators and students; healthcare workers; community residents; business and industry owners and operators; churches; the mental and physical health of all area residents; and for the United States in general.
Seymour shared theme verse for the 2021 edition of the National Day of Prayer, which is found in the book of Second Corinthians, chapter 3, verse 17. It reads, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
“(Liberty) is another word for freedom,” Seymour said during the live stream broadcast on the GAMA Facebook page Thursday. “We celebrate the freedom that we have as Americans and we pray that all around the world Christians … and all people everywhere would have the same kind of benefits and blessings that we’ve enjoyed historically because of our constitutional rights as citizens in the United States.
“(2 Corinthians 3:17) goes with the theme for this year, which is ‘Lord, pour out your love, life, and liberty,’ he added. “So that’s our first prayer. We can all pray that together, Lord, pour out your love, life, and liberty. Hallelujah!”
Rev. Heather McLeod of Christ United Methodist Church in Galion led in the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer delivered by Jesus Christ, which is found in the book of Matthew, chapter 6, verses 9 through 15.
The video of the event can be viewed on the Galion Area Ministerial Association Facebook page.
National calls for prayer, humiliation, fasting, and thanksgiving have been part of the fabric of the United States since its founding. In 1775, members of the First Continental Congress called for a national day of prayer. President Abraham Lincoln likewise issued a call for prayer in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. From 1789 to 2017, U.S. presidents have issued 146 official calls for prayer.
The National Day of Prayer was officially created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Senate and House of Representatives and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. In 1987, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina wrote a bill that would designate the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. Rep. Tony Hall of Ohio was among the sponsors of that legislation, which was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on Thursday, May 8, 1988.