EDITORIAL: It's a day for prayer

May. 01, 2014 @ 05:00 AM

"One Voice United in Prayer."

That is the theme for the National Day of Prayer, which will be observed today in Sanford — and in many other cities and towns across America.

Local activities include:

* Mayor's Prayer Breakfast, 7:30 a.m., Harper Center at First Presbyterian Church. Sanford Mayor Chet Mann will preside and speak, along with a number of local clergy. The Rev. Hector La Chapelle of St. Stephen the Martyr Catholic Church will provide the keynote address.

* Community prayer ceremony, noon, lawn of Sanford Municipal Center. This is the city's traditional lead event, which the Rev. Bruce MacInnes — pastor of Turner's Chapel — will lead.

* Evening vespers service, 5:30 p.m., Depot Park. This "traditional, liturgical" service will be led by the Rev. Timothy Martin of Trinity Lutheran Church, the Rev. Craig Lister of St. Thomas Episcopal Church and Bob Bridwell, the city/county planning director who's transitioning to full-time ministry, with music performance by Jessica Traversino.

* A community prayer service, 6:30 p.m., New Hope Baptist Church, 3007 Beechtree Dr. Pastor Brian Parker will lead that service.

The faith which helped provide the driving force for the founding of our nation has been under attack, and those who mock and deride faith seem to be growing in number. But for those who have and practice faith, they shouldn't be compelled to be silent about their faith in order to appease those who want to silence believers.

Perhaps a faith and prayer is just what we need most in these most precarious of times.

It is good to see Mayor Mann explain what he believes as the virtues of community and faith: "A strong community is usually one of faith, ... to reach our goals, heal our families, and solve our problems, faith has to be part of the solution."

We are blessed to live in America — land of the free and home of the brave, where we have the freedom and liberty to worship as we so desire. That is worth rejoicing in itself.

For many, prayer is paramount in one's beliefs.

Here is an opportunity for those who do believe in God to lift up their voices for our prayers to be heard.