National Prayer Day on horizon

Freedom New Mexico: Liliana Castillo Rhonda Boswell, left to right, Dave Boswell, Josh McCallister and his wife Candace (not pictured), have been helping organize this year’s National Day of Prayer events in Clovis. Several events and services are planned for next week.

By Janet Bresenham: Freedom New Mexico

Many people throughout Clovis, Portales and across the United States will dedicate themselves to one common purpose next week — the power of prayer.

For this year’s National Day of Prayer on Thursday, local groups have organized a variety of events and services beginning Wednesday to rally area men, women and youth to pray.

Retired U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dave Boswell, who with his wife, Rhonda, helped spearhead the organization of the Clovis events, said he believes the nation needs prayer more than ever, especially with so many issues and challenges facing Americans.

“We’re at a very critical point in our nation,” Boswell said. “But if we get on our knees and pray, God can heal this nation. Prayer is something my wife and I have a real passion for because we think prayer accomplishes a lot. We’ve seen so many things happen because of prayer.”

The Rev. Dave McVey, pastor of Central Christian Church of Portales and president of the Portales Ministerial Alliance, said he thinks the National Day of Prayer serves as an important reminder that God cares about people and hears their prayers.

“It’s an opportunity to turn our minds and our hearts to God — to look up from the struggles and difficulties we face every day and realize that God loves us and He’s there for us and we need God,” McVey said. “It’s important for us to remember that God really is real.”

Nationwide, people are being asked to focus next week and all year long on seven main areas for prayer: government, military, media, business, education, church and family. Boswell said Clovis event organizers added three more areas for prayer, which they consider vitally important: agriculture; the poor and less fortunate; and racial reconciliation.

Boswell said he and his wife, who have lived in the Clovis community since 1989, wanted to help with the National Day of Prayer as a way to serve their community and emphasize the value and power of prayer.

Clovis and Portales plan to usher in the National Day of Prayer on Thursday with prayer services Wednesday that emphasize the need for all Christians to join in unity.

“We will start at 6 a.m. on Wednesday with a 24-hour prayer vigil by Clovis churches,” Boswell said. “With prayer, you’re breaking down a lot of barriers between Christians and non-Christians and also between denominations.”

“It’s so important for us to come together and focus on faith and the knowledge that there is a God and we can turn to God,” said McVey, whose church will host Wednesday night’s nondenominational service in Portales.