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National Day of Prayer brings Marshall/Harrison County community together

May 6, 2021

East Texas Baptist University held an observance of the annual National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 6. The 2021 national theme was “Lord, Pour Out Your Love, Life, Liberty” and based on the Scripture found in 2 Corinthians 3:17. Cari Johnson (ETBU), Reverend James Webb (Bethesda Missionary Baptist Church), Stacia Runnels (Greater Marshall Chamber of Commerce), Angela Fitzpatrick (Marshall ISD), General Vernon B. Lewis, Jr. (United States Army, retired), and Zephaniah Timmins (Harrison County Commissioner for Precinct Two) joined with the ETBU and Marshall communities at the Chapel on the Hill for a time of prayer and worship.

“It is a privilege for us to gather together as brothers and sisters in Christ on our National Day of Prayer,” ETBU President J. Blair Blackburn said. “This is a time for intercession for our country. A time of commitment to pray for the people of America. That we would repent of how our hearts and minds have turned from God’s truths. For us to ask for God’s forgiveness, to seek His face, and to ask for His Spirit to heal our hearts, redeem our land, and bring peace among all people. What a joy it is for us to know that we can approach God in confidence, trusting His promises.”

The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. Today, the National Day of Prayer Task Force is a privately funded organization whose purpose is to encourage participation in the National Day of Prayer. It exists to communicate with every individual the need for personal repentance and prayer, to create appropriate materials, and to mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America’s leaders and its families.

“Father God, thank you for your faithful love that cannot fail,” ETBU Intercessory Prayer Coordinator Cari Johnson said. “With divine wisdom, you have carefully established the importance of family and belonging. Heritage, tribes, and generations drive your story of sacrifice and promise. You have rapidly expanded our opportunity for family and belonging. Themes of courage, commitment, adoption, and freedom blaze a trail through your story toward a place where promises are assured and sacrifice is an abundant way of life. We praise you for your loving presence and for the supreme sense of family made possible by your son, our brother and friend, Christ Jesus.”

The group prayed for the nation, state, and local communities through the themes of family, church, workplace, education, military, and government.

“We have set aside this time this day and time to pray for our leaders,” Harrison County Commissioner for Precinct Two Zephaniah Timmins said. “We pray for our mayors, city counselors, county commissioners, police chiefs, judges, and all those who serve our communities. Strengthen them with grace. We pray for our governors and our state legislatures. As they make decisions, may they always put love first. Father, I pray for our nation and our leaders. Give our leaders wisdom, that they may be able to do things beyond their understanding. Overall we pray that you would ground our leaders with sound wisdom. Lead them with the Holy Spirit so that they may do your will and lead your people.”

To learn more about the National Day of Prayer, visit