Residents share prayers, hopes for Orange at Day of Prayer

Published 12:10 am Saturday, May 6, 2023

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Some were friends and some were just friendly faces, but they all gathered in Orange to do one thing together — pray.

“Nothing describes Orange, Texas, better than unity, and that’s what we strive for,” Destiny Church pastor Johnny Asevedo said. “So, it’s amazing how we get to come together and pray on the National Day of Prayer.

Approximately 30 residents commemorated National Day of Prayer at 11:30 a.m. Thursday at Riverfront Boardwalk & Pavilion.

The event was audience-led with community members from diverse denominations invited to contribute.

Melinda Hargrave Klein, director of Heart of David OCTX, led a singing of worship song, “God of This City.”

Klein’s husband blew a shofar, a musical horn, and others in the crowd prayed for wisdom, discernment and unity in Orange as the community adapts to changes and growth.

Savannah Sartin attended with one of her  daughters because she has been getting into the Word.

“I just want to let God know how grateful and thankful I am and meet new people and see new faces,” Sartin said. “It helps our city come together when a concert comes to town. We’re all out there and for it. I think it’s important when we can all just come together as people and talk about our beliefs and the future for Orange, not just financially but with love. All of us getting together, I think, has shown time and time a sense of unity.”

Larry and Theresa Henry, members of Orange First Church of the Nazarene, reflected on their support for local leaders and stressed the importance of prayer.

“A scripture that comes to my mind is II Chronicles 7:14, If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land,” he said.

“And even though we are small in number here, I believe He is mighty and He will hear the prayers of people. That’s what we wanted to do today, just to humble ourselves and pray. We appreciate our mayor, he’s bold in his testimony, his faith, he makes no bones about it so we appreciate him.”

April Benoit said it was an amazing feeling to see great fellowship, which creates a “path to start on.”

Paul Burch said the current situation in the county creates a need for continued prayers.

Caroline Hennigan said putting God first as a community means working together, serving together and joining in prayer together.

“This is an opportunity for us to do as the Lord has asked of us and pray for our nation and leaders,” she said. “We are at a time in our nation when prayer is needed more than ever.”

National Day of Prayer is open annually to people of all faiths and is commemorated in private and public.

While the law setting aside a National Day of Prayer was passed in 1952, it was 36 years later, in 1988, that an amendment reserved every first Thursday in May for national prayer.

— Written by Shari Hardin