Praying for our nation

May 2, 2013
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A crowd gathers at Mason County Courthouse this afternoon.

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Patsy Visscher holds her daughter during prayer.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — A large crowd gathered on the lawn of the Mason County Courthouse this afternoon in observance of the National Day of Prayer. The event started with the Lighthouse Baptist Church’s children choir then went into prayer for various aspects of the nation.

“It’s an honor to be in a country where we can pray on the steps of the county courthouse,” Pastor Henrik Lidman, the event’s host, said. Lidman, who is senior pastor of Prayer and Praise Assembly of God of Ludington is a Swedish national who has lived in the United States for almost two decades. He prayed for President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and members of congress.

Lidman also prayed over Ludington Mayor John Henderson and Scottville Mayor Richard Maki.

Other prayer speakers included Erika and Brian VanHaitsma who prayed confessions from the biblical Book of Psalms; Gene McClellan, HELP Ministries, praying for the armed forces; Emily Schrader of Ludington High School praying for schools; Barry Neal of House of Flavors restaurants and Best Choice Market praying for business; Sheriff Kim Cole praying for emergency response personnel; Undersheriff Jody Hartley praying for state government and Dr. Lewis Squires praying for local government.

The final prayer was led by Lidman who prayed for the courthouse itself.

“Most people keep their eyes closed while praying so they can focus,” Lidman said. “But I have found my eyes open during this service, looking at the people here and this building that represents the center of our county’s government.”

“National Day of Prayer symbolizes this country’s beliefs and our rights to excise religion,” Mayor Henderson told MCP. “We are lucky to live in a country where we have the freedom to gather and we need to be reminded of that.”

Tim and Debby Alley have attended almost every National Day of Prayer service since they moved to the area in 1977.

“I think a service like this is important because we believe in shedding the word of God on this country,” Debbie said.

“As a Christian I believe I have a responsibility to pray for the state of the nation, just as Daniel prayed for the national of Israel at the tower of Babylon.”

Mason County Probate Judge Jeffrey Nellis was in attendance on the courthouse lawn, his north-facing office window overlooked the service.

“The National Day of Prayer brings a community together,” Judge Nellis said. “We always need to be reminded how important faith is. I don’t think we do enough events like this and we need to do this.”

Following the prayer speakers, the entire crowd walked around the courthouse in prayer. Prayer continues this evening from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Ludington House of Prayer located at Prayer and Praise Assembly of God, 509 N. Staffon St. Pastors will be on hand to pray for various aspects of the nation, everyone is welcome to participate.

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Sheriff Kim Cole prays for emergency service workers around the nation and in Mason County.

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Pastor Henrik Lidman prayers for mayors Henderson and Maki.

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