Prayers beseech providence

Published 3:05 pm Friday, May 7, 2010

Contributing Editor

Washington Mayor Archie Jennings said it’s appropriate for the first city named after George Washington to observe the National Day of Prayer each year.
In his remarks during the local observance of the 59th-annual National Day of Prayer at City Hall on Thursday, Jennings talked about Isaac Potts, a Quaker who claims to have observed Washington praying at Valley Forge, praying for the nation he was fighting to establish. Jennings read a passage from the diary of the Rev. Nathaniel Randolph Snowden, an ordained Presbyterian minister.
“I heard a plaintive sound as, of a man at prayer. I tied my horse to a sapling &went quietly into the woods &to my astonishment I saw the great George Washington on his knees alone, with his sword on one side and his cocked hat on the other. He was at Prayer to the God of the Armies, beseeching to interpose with his Divine aid, as it was ye Crisis, &the cause of the country, of humanity &of the world,” Snowden, in his “Diary and Remembrances,” quoted Potts as saying.
“Such a prayer I never heard from the lips of man. I left him alone praying,” Potts is reported as saying of his encounter with Washington in the woods at Valley Forge.
There is debate over whether Washington actually prayed and that Potts observed him.
In his welcoming remarks, Jennings said, there also is debate about the role religion paid in the founding of the United States of America.
“There is no doubt about the role that prayer played,” Jennings said.
To help open the observance, Grover Sawyer sounded the shofar, a horn, a horn, traditionally from a ram, used for Jewish religious purposes. Suzanne, McKenzie and Madison Shelton from St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church in Greenville sang several songs to help open the event.
The following people offered prayers:
• Dick Barber, observance organizer, gave the 2010 national prayer;
• Luther Davis, First Baptist Church of Washington, gave the prayer for the troops;
• Flora Belle Brown, Church of the Good Shepherd, gave the prayer for peace, the poor, the needy and the oppressed;
• Thomas Lee, pastor of 15th Street Church of God, gave the prayer for spiritual unity and moral commitment;
• The Rev. Cipriano Moreno, pastor of Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana, gave the prayer for families;
• Tom Johnson, area director for Young Life, gave the prayer of schools and children;
• Pam Nuckols, owner of the Admix advertising agency, gave the prayer for the cultural community and media;
• Jonathan Jones, an assistant district attorney and member of First Baptist Church, gave the prayer for state and local leaders.
The observance at City Hall was preceded by a breakfast at 15th Street Church of God and a prayer service hosted by the Beaufort County Committee of 100 at the Washington Civic Center. The theme of this year’s National Day of Prayer was “For Such a Time as This.”