But it was event organizer the Rev. Sheldon Livesay who may have touched the most hearts with his unscheduled eighth prayer, in closing the event, for an infant who was recently born with a serious illness.
Every year Rogersville holds its National Day of Prayer observance on the lawn beside the Hale Springs Inn. Following the scheduled prayers, Livesay was simply supposed to dismiss the large crowd.
Instead he told the crowd that one of the workers renovating the inn approached him prior to the event about his daughter, Destiny, who was born with a brain tumor. The worker asked if they would pray for Destiny during the event.
Livesay, from Of One Accord Ministry, hadn’t been scheduled to lead one of Thursday’s prayers, but he took it upon himself to add a prayer for Destiny, as her father sat nearby under a tree on his lunch break from the inn. Livesay extended the prayer to all families that are experiencing sickness and disease.
“I promised we’d do that,” Livesay said in preface to his prayer. “There’s probably folks in every family represented here today who have friends or relatives that because of some serious sickness or illness are not able to function as they need to be as families. We want to lift up a special prayer for Destiny today and all of our loved ones that have serious problems.”
Livesay prayed, “Father, I believe that with a simple lift up of your name from people in a place like this, that miracles can happen just as they did when Jesus walked this earth. Father, we lift up Destiny’s name to you right now — Lord can we speak to that tumor as Jesus would have done and said tumor be gone. Destiny be healed in Jesus’ name. Father we place her in your hands and we ask for that miracle to take place.”
Among the other clergy delivering prayers Thursday in Rogersville were:
• The Rev. Jerry Jones of Rogersville United Methodist Church, who prayed for our nation and its leaders.
• The Rev. Stan Bradley of Daystar Assembly of God Church, who prayed for our families.
• The Rev. Rick Dinkins of Henards Chapel Baptist Church, who prayed for our churches, pastors and church leaders.
• The Rev. Irving Greene of Russell’s Chapel A.M.E. Zion Church, who prayed for our schools and teachers.
• The Rev. Steve Newhouse of Rogersville First Christian Church, who prayed for our military and protective services.
• The Rev. Fred Dimond of Otes United Methodist, who prayed for the media and its influence on America.
• The Rev. Don Rose, president of the Rogersville Area Church Council, who prayed for relief from the economic crisis and for families of the unemployed.
In prefacing his prayer, Bradley said he doesn’t believe any parent or grandparent will lay on their deathbed and regret that they hadn’t watched more TV, surfed the Web more, fished more or golfed more.
“But I believe that we will possibly live to regret that we haven’t invested more time in our children,” Bradley said. “We as grandmothers and grandfathers, moms and dads, need to divest ourselves of our business and have something left that we can invest in our children.”
Bradley further prayed, “Father I ask you today, would you motivate us to be all that we can be, not only to each other but to stand in the gap especially for our children. To stand for what’s right. To set aside politics. To not search for our differences, but to search for the things that we hold in common. And this one thing we know — we need our children. Father, in the name of Jesus help us to work together to save our children.”