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I was there — at that prayer rally!

by Mary Lou Thompson
| May 23, 2020 1:00 AM

It was so encouraging after being separated from worshipping together with other believers in Christ in our churches for several weeks, to be among people who wanted to pray with other like-minded believers on a beautiful afternoon in an outdoor park in North Idaho; it was nothing less than an inspiration and a renewal in hope that we all needed.

My friend and I — both over 70 — sat near the back on the grassy area, social distancing. Couples, families, and small groups filtered in standing together as chairs were not provided this year. We only knew a few of the pastors who led in prayer but nevertheless, we were caught up in the heart of the reason for our meeting: to pray for our country that had just been through one of the worst times in our history. To hear words of care and concern, prayers for guidance, strength, encouragement, wisdom and hope for all of our leaders from local to state to national level certainly didn’t feel like the wrong thing to do.

Yes, others may have a different perspective and that is the wonderful freedom we have in this land — and especially in this state — to disagree and to follow our own conscience. We need to stop judging and condemning each other and get on with living our lives again, accepting our different perspectives as well as our different beliefs. This has been a very trying time in our culture. Mayors, commissioners, law enforcement, health workers, families, schools, teachers, churches, governors, Congress and our president have been under extreme pressure over this COVID-19 pandemic. They need our prayers and they got them on that day in early May as approximately 400 of us gathered together to pray for them specifically. And, we were only one small group.

Thousands across our land gathered in cities and towns for this National Day of Prayer, including in Washington, D.C. Our country needs so much prayer to heal the division and anger that now exists. As far as the Pledge of Allegiance being recited, that is a reminder of how dedicated all of us should be to this wonderful country where we are allowed to live, “under God” as it states. It is not a secular thing as mentioned in an earlier My Turn column. Most of us grew up reciting this pledge every morning in our schools, our churches, at public gatherings and meetings and social and sports events, and are very familiar with it.

Also, as stated this week in another Press news story, “82% of Americans say they believe in God, and 26% say their sense of spirituality has grown stronger as a result of this outbreak.” Believers in God need the encouragement of ongoing and group prayer.

In closing, I want to thank the CDA Press for the coverage of this prayer rally on the front page of the paper as I know there were many more who were unable to be there with others to pray. The encouragement that this type of coverage brings into our lives through this dismal time is not a ‘promotion’ but rather a blessing and a renewed hope for a weary people. The Press has gone out of its way to give us stories and coverage of hope and warmth during this pandemic and most of us appreciate it very much. This has been a hard season for all.

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Mary Lou Thompson is a Hayden resident.