Fort Payne Mayor Larry Chesser presented a proclamation declaring Sunday, March 29, 2020, as a day of community prayer.
The proclamation states: This Nation and city was founded upon the Christian faith, and the vast majority of our citizens are professed Christians. The Christian belief is in the power of prayer and we collectively want to express our concerns and fears of the pandemic to our God. As Mayor of the City of Fort Payne, I call upon all our citizens to community prayer.
Chesser said we all have a part to do, and part of that is to follow all the guidelines provided regarding limited contact, washing your hands and staying at home.
“But then the second part of that is asking God to help us,” he said.
Throughout the bible, there are numerous examples of people and nations praying to God, Chesser said praying for deliverance is his point.
“That’s about all we have left to do. To do it as a community, it’s very difficult with the situation being what it is because there are so many churches that are not meeting now and those that don't have video capability don’t have the opportunity to do a prayer service,” he said.
Chesser said he had asked the local radio stations to put something out on Sunday for some of the preachers that are involved.
“We are also reaching out to the churches that have video services or [live] streaming and asking them to encourage people to spend some time during the day Sunday in prayer for our nation, state, county and for us,” he said.
He said it’s not going to hurt and at this time, “it can’t do anything but help.”
Chesser asks all to pray the following prayer or any other on March 29.
“May God bless us and keep us during this time as always,” he said.
The prayer reads the following:
Dear God, you have said that the prayer of the righteous avails much. We certainly are not righteous of our own accord, but through Christ’s blood, we have been made righteous in your sight. Father, we claim that promise and trust you to do what’s best. Our city is a Christian community that tries to follow your commandants and live in your ways. We strive to help each other, in good or bad times, as we would ourselves, family and neighbors.
Dear God, the coronavirus pandemic has increased anxiety in many people and many just don’t know what to do. Your word invites us to pray to you, and you will deliver us in times of trouble. Please accept this prayer toward that end. We know your word tells us to put our trust in you and not worry. Help us to do just that.
Father, we pray for our city and county as well as all those threatened by this pandemic. We know that many may be in danger of being without employment and lack of income. Please help us in that as well and help us to be mindful of all around us.
Father, we pray for our doctors and emergency personnel that they may be unaffected and able to do their duties. We pray for those in authority who make decisions that affect many people. Give them the wisdom to do what is prudent and necessary.
And lastly God, we thank you for your Son, who gave his life as a ransom for us, and it is in his name we pray, Amen.