July 18th, 2019

prayer legion salute 2018Local American Legion members salute the flag and recite the Pledge of Allegiance at last year’s National Day of Prayer event at the Depot. L&T file photo/Robert PierceELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times


National Day of Prayer has been a big part of Liberal for the past several years now, and preparations are under way for this year’s event. 

This year's National Day of Prayer in Liberal will be Thursday, May 2 beginning at noon in the Seward County Administration Building at 515 N. Washington in the county commission chambers room. Leaders in the community including business owners, the mayor, and several pastors are just a sample of the people from our community who will be leading prayers at this year's event, according to coordinator Rhonda Kinser. 

“Our goal for the gathering this year is to provide the people in Liberal the opportunity to come together in the spirit of love and respect under the banner of God's love for us,” Kinser said. “We will be finished by 12:55 p.m. so people have adequate time to get back to work. This year, the National Day of Prayer task force picked this year's theme to be 'Love One Another,' and that's based on the scripture from John 13:34, which says 'Love one another just as I have loved you.' When I think of God's love for us, I think of the song of Solomon, which says 'His banner over me is love,' so that's what our goal is, the opportunity to come together because they love their country and each other.”

Having a national day of prayer began April 17, 1952, when President Harry Truman signed a bill proclaiming a National Day of Prayer into law for the U.S. President Ronald Reagan then amended the law in 1988 designating the first Thursday in May as the National Day of Prayer. 

The Liberal event, Kinser said, has been extremely successful since it got its start in the community. 

“I couldn't say what it was like that first year, but I do know for the first few years it was Ozzie Ridings who was in charge of coordinating this along with his wife, and they paid for it all and he even hosted dinners for everyone, it was a very generous gesture on his part,” Kinser said. “He passed away last February and he'd organized it for a long time and then the Ministerial Alliance appointed me, so I started coordinating this event last year and am doing it again for this year. Last year was a good turnout, which was great, and I've been told by several people last year was their favorite. And actually, last year was somewhat different because we included community leaders whereas it would've normally just been local pastors who would come in and lead prayers, and we're doing that again this year – we'll have Mayor Connie Seigrist and Police Chief Dennis Mulanax praying, one of the judges will be leading a prayer, just all types of community members will be there, and we're happy that change happened. I think that's part of what made last year so successful and why we saw more attendance, because it's not just pastors leading the prayers but also regular community members.”

Overall, Kinser said, she is excited to see how this year’s event turns out. 

“I'm excited about this year because of the diversity of the people who will be leading prayers as well as coming to the event to pray. I believe, and the Ministerial Alliance believes, we have a lot of members of the community who are believers, so to include them in the National Day of Prayer and not just having the pastors pray is what I'm really looking forward to about this year,” Kinser said. “It really gives that opportunity for everyone in Liberal to participate. I believe prayer changes things and I believe we're still one nation under God and that God is the only answer to the problems facing not only the nation, but also our state and locally. It says in the scriptures 'If my people humble themselves to pray in my name, He will hear from Heaven and help us.' So that's why I think it's so important to have this every year. I know many Christians pray on their own for the nation and the community, I know churches are praying for revival and for God to come and intervene. There's a lot of evil and corruption in the world and this is a chance for people to publicly come and take a stand by saying they believe God will be the answer to the problems going on today.”

Everyone in the community is invited and encouraged to take part in this year’s National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 2. 

“You don't have to be part of the Ministerial Alliance to come and pray, so that's why every pastor and church member, no matter what denomination, we'd love for you to come and be united in prayer,” Kinser said. “We do have scheduled people who will be praying, but everyone is invited to participate.”

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