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'Prayer on the Square' uplifts faithful

Photo: David McGregor June and Jedwin Smith sing a praise in downtown Lawrenceville on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday evening.

Photo: David McGregor June and Jedwin Smith sing a praise in downtown Lawrenceville on the National Day of Prayer on Thursday evening.

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Photo: David McGregor Around 100 people converged at the Historic Courthouse in Lawrenceville's lawn to celebrate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday evening.

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Mosquitoes. Clouds. Prayer.

What have they in common?

All of those things, and about 200 people, converged Thursday evening on the Gwinnett Historic Courthouse for an uplifting "Prayer on the Square" showcase of religious music and hallelujah-inspiring invocation.

Thursday marked the 61st annual observance of the National Day of Prayer, with similar events held from Alaska to Key West. The objective in Lawrenceville was to bring together Christians, regardless of denomination and ethnic background, said coordinator Constance Smith.

Families pitched blankets. People raised their hands and danced. A swarm of adolescents broke into a game of tag.

"I just love big groups," said one such dancer, Lawrenceville resident Rachel Goins, 20. "It's building my faith."

Katie Simons, 28, of Lawrenceville, hoped the event would help disparate congregations feel a deeper sense of community.

"It's refreshing," Simons said of the turnout.

The city's mayor, Judy Jordan Johnson, showed up in running shoes, prepared to quickly shepherd attendees to a Plan B church should the aforementioned clouds have bursted open. No running was required.

"We know that every day," Johnson told the crowd, "should be a National Day of Prayer."

Comments

Karl 2 years, 2 months ago

"And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward." Matthew 6:5 .

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly." Matthew 6:6

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penuginmom3 2 years, 2 months ago

Karl, that verse is about intent. If your intention is to have people say what a great/spiritual person you are then you are a hypocrite. It does not specifically forbid public prayers, otherwise Jesus' public spoken prayer on the cross 'Father, Forgive them...' would have been disallowed. Here the intent was to gather as believers and to pray together for our leaders and our nation (1 Tim 2:1-3)

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FordGalaxy 2 years, 2 months ago

"Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. " Acts 2:38

How does one repent without praying to God for forgiveness? Or do you think they took each individual that received the Spirit that day into their own closet?

"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17 If we are to pray without ceasing, yet we are only to pray in our closet or in secret, then we'd never leave the house.

The point I believe Christ was making was to be humble in prayer, and to seek the gifts of God in secret, to which you would be rewarded openly. A person can go outside and pray and not be seeking to draw attention to themselves. The Pharisees of the Apostles' day sought to bring attention on their own prayer and righteousness.

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