Local residents join in prayer for unity and peace

Local residents gather for a prayer meeting on the lawn of the Powhatan County Courthouse on June 4.

POWHATAN – A small group of people met last week on the lawn of the Powhatan County Courthouse to unite in prayer for their county, state, and country.

The Rev. Brad Russell, pastor of Old Powhatan Baptist Church said the gathering on Thursday, June 4 by a small group of people was a recognition of the need to pray for peace and unity.

“We want churches in Powhatan and believers in Christ to come together and to pray. We know that there are lots of voices and lots of opinions and lots of hurt, and we want to stand together for what is true and just and right, and we know taking our needs to God is the best way we can do that,” Russell said.

At about 11:30 a.m., the pastor welcomed the people who had gathered at the courthouse. He told them there would be no speeches; they were simply asked to spread out and pray. He gave them a printed out prayer guide if they wanted to use it but said they didn’t have to use it as they brought their petitions to the Lord.

“He is the one who can really change our country, change our hearts, and change us,” he said.

Ray Grant and Fred Long, both members of Gospel Light Baptist Church, said they came out to pray for their country.

Grant talked about restoring peace to the nation. This nation does provide opportunity, and while there are people who don’t want everybody to realize those opportunities, it shouldn’t be what Christians or the country stand for, he said.

Long said he prayed for the Lord to work in people’s hearts to bring about change and for the protection and wisdom of leaders to protect citizens and do what is good for people. He said he supports peaceful, respectful protest but can’t support vandalism, looting, and hurting others and was praying about that, too.

“We care for people just like Christ cared for people in this world, and we are just praying for the people in this world. That is what we are supposed to do,” Long said,

Wyatt Perkins, 17, and Olivia Moffat, 16, sat on a set of stairs near the courthouse lawn along with Olivia’s mother, Jennifer, to pray. In addition to the prayer guide points, which mainly dealt with valuing and loving others, Wyatt said he prayed for the wisdom of leaders on all sides as well as for friends and family.

Olivia said she saw the gathering as a time to come together during hardships and pray over the community, for the safety of everyone, and that people are making the right decisions with peaceful protests.

“I 100 percent support that movement peacefully and I think we should all be coming together right now and supporting each other and loving one another, because that is what we are called to do as Christians,” she said.

Both teens also stressed the importance they see in public prayer and the open invitation that anyone can join in.

Laura McFarland may be reached at Lmcfarland@powhatantoday.com.

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