Below are the remarks I made in 2000 on the occasion of a National Day of Prayer event co-hosted by Catholics and Baptists:
Pray 2K: America’s Hope for the New Millennium
The following remarks were delivered by Snellville Mayor Brett Harrell at an ecumenical prayer breakfast co-hosted by St. Oliver’s Catholic Church and First Baptist Church of Grayson in celebration of the “National Day of Prayer” May 4, 2000.
I am deeply honored and appreciative to be with you this morning. Today we recognize nationally what ought to be a daily observance – prayer.
Pray 2K: America’s Hope for the New Millennium is a fitting theme in this year of renewal. To begin, I’m going to share with you a prayer of renewal. It is a strongly worded prayer, but a prayer appropriate for our time.
Minister Joe Wright opened the new session of the Kansas Senate with these words:
“Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask Your forgiveness and to seek Your direction and guidance.
We know Your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good”, but that is exactly what we have done.
We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We confess that.
We have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and called it Pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare;
We have killed our unborn and called it choice;
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it politics;
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.
Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will, to open ask it in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.”
His prayer is a prayer of renewal, a prayer of focus.
The United States is the only nation with a recognized National Day of Prayer. The First Continental Congress in 1775 called for a National Day of Prayer.
Our Declaration of Independence states, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights. The Declaration goes on to say in, “support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”
Clearly, ours is a nation born and sustained by faith and the grace of God.
Our forefathers recognized the necessity of prayer. They recognized the vital importance of prayer for our nations leaders.
One of the suggested scriptures for today is Romans 12:12 which says, “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer.” That’s my job description for Mayor of Snellville.
I am rejoicing in hope for our community. Hope for a community that is safe and vibrant with churches, schools, parks and businesses – a community that is optimistic about its’ future.
I am persevering in tribulation. Remaining focused on the needs of our community through whatever trying experiences may come. I frequently rely on and find comfort in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I am devoted to prayer for personal guidance, discernment and for our community.
My prayers are most often prayers of thanksgiving. I find great strength and peace through prayer. I know you will too and I encourage you all to renew your commitment to a prayerful life.
Lastly, I ask you to pray for all our nations leaders and most especially pray for me. Pray that God will open our ears, our eyes, our minds and most importantly our hearts to His will. Pray as Joe Wright did when he said of our nations leaders, “Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will.”
Thank you and may God richly bless you and your families.