Prayer, not protest
Community finds a positive response to recent tragedies
A pair of public prayer meetings punctuated the week of local and national tumult. Nationally tragic news about shooting involving police captured headlines. Those events combined along with two county residents recently killed in shootings in West Memphis and Earle spawned prayer meetings.
One gathering in Marion circled around the police department on Friday. Another group gathered at RiverPAC on Saturday afternoon organized by the 8th Street Mission for Jesus Christ.
The string of lethal violence pushed the value of life to a top shelf issue. Refrains from different parts of the community voiced Black lives matter, blue lives matter, and all lives matter.
The vigil at the Marion Police department was a show of support for all law enforcement officers in the county. County Judge Woody Wheeless urged the community. “Please pray for the officers that lost their lives to senseless shooting this week,” said Wheeless. “America is in a crisis and we have had to stand strong and stop those who have no value for life.”
Pastor Larry Brown had long planned public prayer service for the 8th Street Mission before the violence erupted. Ten pastors representing seven different denominations used the occasion not only to pray for aspects of the mission but blanketed the community in prayer at the diverse gathering. The 8th Street motto “more than a mission; a new beginning” served as a springboard into the 90 minutes of prayer of hope for the community.
Pastor Larry Brown exhorted the crowd to sincere repentance and humility.
Using 2 Chronicles 7:14 he called for a turn to God.
“He will hear us, He will forgive us, He will heal us,” said Brown.
The pastors took turns praying about the mission and the community.
Preachers petitioned the Lord for community unity and neighborly love and service. America and her youth were lifted up in prayer along with police, firemen, paramedics, and all levels of government leaders. Pastors and the work of the entire church, evangelism were prayed for.
Before it ended the rescue mission itself, the poor and homeless, and widows and orphans were brought to the divine throne.
By John Rech