Unifying a community through prayer


Unity was the theme of the 2018 National Day of Prayer Thursday, May 3, based on Ephesians 4:3, “Making every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace.” In that spirit, Troup came together as a community for the fourth annual mayor’s prayer breakfast hosted at First Baptist Church. City leaders, first responders and other residents joined together at 6 a.m. to participate in the morning of prayer.

“Community leaders, many years ago, decided that we needed to set aside [a day] so that our whole country, community by community, could come together and lift up their local communities, their counties, their states and ultimately our nation,” Mayor Joe Carlyle stated in his opening remarks.

The opening prayer was led by Cory Melton followed by the presentation of colors by Troup FFA members.

Joe Ballard, pastor of First Baptist Church, presented a devotion based on Ezekiel 22:30 stating the passage highlights both “the grace of God and the judgment of God.” The scripture in the New King James Version reads, “So I sought for a man among them who would make a wall, and stand in the gap before Me on behalf of the land, that I should not destroy it; but I found no one.”

Using the word gap as an acrostic, Ballard offered three points for consideration; go, availability and point. He encouraged those in attendance to go before God, be available for God’s use and point the way to Christ.

Several individuals then offered prayers for various groups who serve the community. Nelson Darden, a city council member, began the series of prayers by offering one for the nation, county and city leaders.

“We’ve had several situations that could discourage us in many ways … Lord, where our faith goes a little bit weak, we pray Lord that we’ll just be strong in you,” Darden prayed for the City of Troup.

James Kenrick, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines, Fox Company, Retired First Sergeant offered prayer for those who serve in the military and as missionaries.

Arla Phelps, a member of Troup Fire Department, offered prayer seeking God’s protection for first responders and Katie Preast, director of curriculum and instruction at Troup ISD, asked for favor on teachers and administrators, safety for the schools and for guidance into the future for students who are graduating.

In his concluding remarks, Carlyle reminded those present that the prayer breakfast was a vision of the late Bill Lacy. He also challenged those in attendance to remember that the breakfast was just the beginning.

“Remember this is a day of prayer,” Carlyle said. “It shouldn’t be something that we just do on this one day, but it’s a good place to start.”

The benediction was led by Preston Lindsey, who teaches agriculture classes and is an FFA advisor at Troup High School.

“I pray, Lord, that you would increase the love in each one of our hearts, not only for our brothers and sisters in churches, but Lord, I pray that you would increase our love for those in this community,” Lindsey requested.

Members of Troup FFA were present, greeting attendees, handing out programs and serving the tables. Breakfast burritos and pancakes were provided by La Hacienda.

Chris Wilkins, pastor of Clearview Church, and his daughter Karson Dunn provided live music as people gathered and also led in song during the program.


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