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Churches: Community prayer service fulfills its purpose

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

The voices of people attending a community prayer service for healing rose to the heavens Monday evening, and the Rev. Mitchell Adger, pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church, was moved to go off script.

People of different races singing as one, Adger said, that’s what he and the Rev. Rob Grafe, rector of All Saints Church, had in mind when they started a monthly series of prayer services running through the November elections called “A People Called by His Name.”

The name comes from Apostle Paul’s letter in 2nd Chronicles, Chapter 7: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

The services were started as a response to racial tension brought on by police officers killing suspects during arrests and snipers killing police in retaliation. “We have come together to ask God to heal our land,” Adger said. He prayed for the men and women in authority, calling on them to perform their duties with dignity and wisdom. “We sing with one voice. We pray with one voice, and we lead in one voice that God will heal our people,” he said.

The Rev. Wil Keith, rector of Holy Cross-Faith Memorial Episcopal Church, prayed for pastors and their families. “Help us to not judge based on outward appearances,” he prayed. “Make us instruments of your salvation.”

Elaine Thompson said that God’s people understand he will provide for the needs of the world. Barry Taylor asked that the people in the congregation put their arms around those in need. “We are bombarded by hatred, frustration and anger,” he said.

Tyronne Davis said families need God in times of trouble, turmoil and strife. Minister Sandra King prayed for salvation and asked God to “open our hearts to the world.”

Grafe said people at the prayer service, black and white, were standing together courageously. “The Lord is doing a mighty, mighty work,” he said. “We need courage to love where others hate, courage to bless when it’s easier to curse. Bring light to the darkness. Be ambassadors of this good news.”

All Saints will host the next prayer session Oct. 3 at 6 p.m.

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