ST. PETERSBURG — To observe the National Day of Prayer on May 7, there will be a community gathering at the Gibbs High School gym, 850 34th St. S. at 6 p.m. Pastor Louis Murphy of Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church will participate at the gathering and would like to encourage everyone in the community to attend.
Murphy, along with Seven x 7, organizes the well-attended event locally, and expects a strong turnout this year. Many churches will be participating from all over the community, Murphy said, adding that there will also be elected officials at the state and local levels present.
Created in 1952, the National Day of Prayer invites people of all faiths to pray for the nation, and is an annual observance held on the first Thursday in May. According to the official National Day of Prayer website, a call to prayer was issued as far back as 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom and guidance in forming a nation.
Many pastors will be present at the gathering and Murphy said the prayers will go out not only for the nation but for several people and communities in general.
“We pray for, of course, our nation,” he explained, “our president, elected officials, we pray for our community, our family, our youth.”
He believes that prayer does change things and helps us to get through tough times as well as appreciate our good times, and expects some of the prayers to touch upon areas of concern in the nation’s current state of affairs today, such as the civil unrest plaguing Baltimore.
“One of the things that we’ve been bombarded with is the relationship or lack of the relationship between law enforcement and African-American communities,” Murphy said. “Certainly that is an area that should be touched upon.”
Murphy feels that in the many different denominations, there is the common denominator of prayer.
“We’re trying to bring a community, a city, a county together and to pray at all levels of political government as well as in the secular corporate business communities, and families and so forth,” he attested. “We just believe in the power of prayer and hope that it can help us in our course of life.”