Kokomo rallies at National Day of Prayer

Written on 05/09/2024
Patrick Munsey

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The National Day of Prayer was observed in Howard County on May 2, and a crowd gathered on the courthouse square in Kokomo to lift their voices and prayers as one people.

The theme for the 2024 iteration of the event was "Light Up the Word, Light Up the World." Now in its 73rd year, the Day of Prayer drew out a slightly smaller crowd than usual, despite the favorable weather. But what the crowd lacked in numbers, it made up for in fervent prayer.

The event began with the most famous of entreaties, The Lord's Prayer, led by Trilce Schneirla of the Kokomo Rescue Mission. This was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and a proclamation from Kokomo Mayor Tyler Moore, commemorating the National Day of Prayer. A time of musical worship was led by Kevin DeBard of One Church, and Pastor Wendell Brown of Refreshing Springs Church gave a scripture reading.

It then was time for prayer. Pastor Kevin Smith of the Kokomo Rescue Mission prefaced the solemn session before stepping aside for a series of prayers, focused on different segments of the community.

Pastor William Gary of Wayman Chapel AME Church gave a prayer for the Church, and he was followed by an impassioned plea from Pastor Steve Gollner of Mt. Gilead Baptist Church on behalf of families.

"We ask you to bless and to strengthen our families," Gollner prayed. "Lord, You know that today our families are in trouble; that we face pressures all around us. God, give us fathers who do not provoke their children to wrath, but instead focus on bringing them up in the training and admonition of the Lord. Give us dads who understand that their responsibilities extend beyond providing for the financial and physical needs of their household.

"Give us mothers of virtue, girded with strength in which their whole families can safely trust. We pray for wives who diligently watch over the ways of their household. We pray for special grace for moms, who often feel like their job is too daunting and their resources too few.

"We pray for our children to learn to honor their parents. We pray for homes where Your word and Your will are regular topics of conversation, where young children are taught obedience, and older children are learned by wise counsel from their parents, grandparents, and others.

"We pray for homes where pride is rejected and humility is modeled. We pray for homes where the pursuit of happiness is less important than the pursuit of godliness. We pray for families that encourage and build up one another."

Kokomo Common Council member Crystal Sanburn gave a prayer for those who serve in government

"I pray that honesty, integrity, compassion, and love would rule their hearts as they make decisions that affect their constituents and communities because you have allowed each person to be placed in the office," said Sanburn. "I pray each official understands their high calling and responsibility that has been placed on them to government with excellence and strong character.

"I pray to You that our government officials understand the importance of transparency, listening, and serving their constituents and communities for they represent and are the voice of our community."

Max Johnson band director at Taylor Middle School, was asked to pray for the field of education. He expressed his gratitude for being given the opportunity and offered a welcoming fist bump to the crowd.

"God, I lift up everyone involved in education or community, from the preschools and daycares to the universities," said Johnson. "Help us, Lord, to be passionate, and to call on you for your authority and your wisdom, Lord. Help us to be reflectors of your light to a student community that is living in some of the darkest times we've ever seen.

"We cannot teach without love. We cannot give away what we do not have. So, fill us through the Holy Spirit with your love. Help us to see every child every young adult the way that you see them."

Kokomo Common Council member Greg Davis, a retired Kokomo Police officer, prayed for first responders.

"Father, we need to gain a glimpse of the truth that while others are running away from life's tragedies, our first responders are running towards them," said Davis. "Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, compassion with all people, and protection so that they can continue in a chaotic world.

"I also pray for the families of our first responders, as they are serving as well. Meet their needs as they are the backbone and vital support system for each of our community servants. Every shift requires a first responder to be prepared and ready for whatever comes. Give them the ability to stand strong, and help them be aware that you, Father, are continually with them wherever they are, and in every situation that they find themselves in."

Kasey Woolslare of Bridgeway Church gave a prayer for businesses.

“Almighty Father, we have so many businesses in Howard County. May you be the Lord of them all,” said Woolslare. “Please help business owners and leaders who have already decided to follow Jesus be a light in our community. And, Lord, please make yourself known to business leaders who have not yet decided to follow you. We pray that they would hunger and thirst for the one true God.”

The final featured prayer was given by Will Spencer from the Kokomo Rescue Mission, praying for the addicted.

“God, addiction comes in many shapes, forms, and sizes,” said Spencer. “It may be a drug, or it may be a way of how we treat others. Maybe it is physical abuse. Maybe it is sexual abuse. It may be just getting overwhelmed. It may be cheating or lying. I ask now that you will give us the spirit and the compassion to fight against addiction.”