By Argen Duncan: PNT senior writer
Portales is celebrating the 59th annual National Day of Prayer with a communitywide worship service and prayer meeting.
The service with worship, prayer and sermons is Wednesday night. Portales pastors Brad Morgan, Josh McVey and Kelly Fulfer are set to speak on the theme “Ask, seek, knock.”
The focus refers to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:7-8: “Ask and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”
First Baptist Church pastor Dave McFadden, who is organizing the service, expects it to finish within an hour.
Thursday — the official National Day of Prayer — offers the community an opportunity to pray together at the Roosevelt County Courthouse steps.
McFadden wants the service to be a reminder that God changes things in response to prayer.
“It’s not a cop-out to say, ‘Oh, we really need to pray for our country,’ ” he said. “It really does make a difference.”
As for the prayer meeting, the pastor believes it’s good for Christians to pray in public because it shows they believe in God, love their country and want to see God’s will in their nation so it will prosper.
McFadden said one of the biggest values of the National Day of Prayer is that Christians join together across denominational lines.
“We should do it more than once a year, but certainly on this day, we should be able to do that,” he said.
McVey, the youth pastor at Central Christian Church, said it’s important for Christians to come together to celebrate what Christ has done in their lives, committing themselves to prayer and their relationship with God. God’s will for people is a relationship with him, and prayer is a conduit of that relationship, McVey said.
University Baptist Church pastor Steve Smith said U.S. presidents have called the nation to prayer through history.
“It’s a call upon the citizens of the United States to seek God’s presence and help for our nation, and turn our hearts and minds toward him,” Smith said. “He’s the one that gave us our nation.”