The Southeastern Ballroom was filled this morning with people who bowed their heads to say a prayer for America.
The 32nd Annual Durant Community Prayer Breakfast began at 6:30, an event that is held in conjunction with the National Day of Prayer on the first Thursday of May.
“We are here this morning to restore our soul and pray for America,” said Ernest Sturch, who provided the invocation for the program.
Gil Stricklin, founder, president and CEO of Marketplace Ministries, was this year’s featured speaker. Headquartered in Plano, Texas, Marketplace Ministries provides a faith-based contracted chaplain care service to business ministries nationwide.
Since founding Marketplace Ministries in 1984, with one client company and himself the lone chaplain, Stricklin now oversees more than 1,200 chaplains in Ministry at Work and speaks for all types of conventions, schools, and businesses as his time permits.
Bart Rustin led the singing of God Bless America and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, Terrell Suggs said a prayer for families and homes of America and Dr. Tim Brumit said a prayer for children of America.
Rev. James Robinson, pastor of Durant First Baptist Church, introduced Stricklin, who spoke on a challenge to pray for America.
“This country still has some good and Godly people even though we have some deep concerns,” Stricklin said.
He spoke of the 12th chapter of Psalms, the first words which are, “Help Lord.”
“If we have ever needed God’s help in our nation, we need it today,” Stricklin said, referring to current events. “It’s like reading USA Today when you read that chapter.”
He said Christians should be “radical” in their beliefs, a word is usually associated with politics.
“If ever there has been a time for me and you to be radical Christians, it is today,” Stricklin said.
He said we should ask the Lord for help to live crucified lives, to defeat evil and resist temptation in our lives.
“I’m here to tell you this morning that Jesus has never lost a battle with evil,” Stricklin said, to applause.
According to Stricklin, everybody in society today is radical about what they believe.
“Do you not think that it is time for you and I, as true believers in Jesus, to be a little more radical?” Stricklin said.
The event concluded with a benediction by Bill Ledbetter.
The prayer breakfast, sponsored by the Durant Kiwanis Club, was first held in 1982 with Gov. George Nigh as speaker. The event helps fund the Durant High School Baccalaureate.