By Gary Mitchell
The blowing of the shofar, or ram’s horn, called a solemn assembly to pray and praise the Lord Thursday as part of the local observance of the 2003 National Day of Prayer.
“We stand in honor of our risen Lord Jesus Christ,” said Mike Teague, organizer of the Clovis prayer event held at noon on the Curry County courthouse lawn.
Teague trumpeted the shofar at the beginning and at the conclusion of the prayer service. In Israel’s history, the shofar was used to proclaim a solemn assembly or fast of God’s people.
As the shofar sounded, several in the crowd of 150 people shouted, “We praise you, Father,” and raised their hands in praise and worship.
The audience then joined the praise team in singing, “Shout to the Lord,” many with hands upraised in worship.
Some folks in the crowd were a little cautious about the exuberance and methodology of the prayer time.
“I’m an old-fashioned Baptist,” said Gary Elliott, a member of Parkland Baptist Church. “It was a little too loud and too much hand raising for me, but it was good. I always feel convicted to come every year and pray for our nation, which I do regularly, anyway.”
The Rev. Brad Mahan, pastor of Grace Fellowship Church, said he “liked to see the atmosphere of faith and expectation.”
Prayer intercessors led the service. The Rev. Oral Hardin, who prayed for city, state and national government leaders, voiced a prayer for President George Bush.
“Surround him with righteous counsel,” he said. “We speak blessing over America today.”
Donna Hardin prayed for the military.
“We speak Psalm 91 over the men and women in our military,” she said. “We pray for great wisdom for our leadership. We thank you for victory in the Middle East. We thank you for your victory.”
Judy Lambert of Muleshoe prayed for the opening of the city gates for God’s glory.
“Thank you now that prophetically you’re opening the gates of the city,” she said. “Release your glory over the east gate. Open the portal for your glory to come forth.”
The Rev. Gerald Woods, associate pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, prayed for area pastors and their ministry.
Shirley Swann prayed for people in the community.
“How dare we look to ourselves when you want us to depend on you?” she prayed. “There is no lack with you. You go on fresh supplies continuously. We have to look to you for all our needs. We need to seek your face.”
Derek Osburn, youth pastor at Central Baptist Church, prayed for the youth of the community.
“There are 3,000 teenagers in Clovis alone,” he said. “We pray for their growth and their discipleship. Heal them. Heal our land.”
The Rev. Adam Rios, pastor of El Shaddai Rivers of Blessing, prayed for the outreach of the community.
“Where is the compassion and the fire?” he prayed. “We cry out for boldness. Jesus is coming. Jesus is coming. Use us to reach out, O Father. We need to come together in the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Have your way, O God. Ignite our hearts with your fire.”
Teague prayed for the opening up of the five-fold ministry gifts in area churches and the breaking of the curse of drought in churches today.
Prayer Day participants said they were pleased with the event.
“It was powerful,” said Ken Urban. “I felt the presence of the Lord. Doors were opened up for new things to happen, and old doors closed on things to go away.”
“I felt the power and the glory and the fire of the Lord,” Lambert said.
“The heavens were opened, and we’re going to see prophetic fruit,” Teague said.