Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

May 3, 2013

People across region take part in annual National Day of Prayer

Bluefield Daily Telegraph

PRINCETON — Click here for video

Song and prayer were offered Thursday for local churches, city and county government, the nation’s government, the military and churches worldwide as people across the region celebrated the 2013 National Day of Prayer.

A service conducted outside the Mercer County Courthouse was among many that offered up prayers for the nation and the world. Rob Buchanan of the Princeton Ministerial Association opened the service by performing “America the Beautiful” on the courthouse steps.

“The country is in need of our prayers, and certainly we as a church need to come together and pray for our country. The Bible exhorts us to pray for our country,” Buchanan said afterwards.

One at a time, local pastors and other supporters stood on the courthouse stairs and offered prayers for the city and county government, the state government, the national government, local schools and the nation’s education system, military personnel at home and overseas, and local churches. The final prayer was offered for churches across the world and the “persecuted church” in places where people are not free to worship.

“I think it’s important to unite the country for the common cause of Christ,” Tim Smith, the volunteer director of the Planet Xtreme Teen Center, said afterwards.

Sometimes people have a “keyhole perspective” that does not let them understand the pressures that the nation’s leaders face, he said.

“We need to pray for our leadership, pray for the nation and pray for the world. Sometimes we are in our own little boxes and forget how the rest of the world needs prayer,” Smith said.

America’s people need to pray to God, especially during difficult times, said Peggy Belcher, 72, of Princeton.

“The Bible says, ‘If my people who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, then I will hear from heaven and heal their land,’” she said.

Belcher’s friend Betty Robinette, 77, of Princeton said they come to the National Day of Prayer ceremony at the courthouse every year.

“If this country is going to change, it’s up to the Christian people,” she said.

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