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Cape Coral celebrates National Day of Prayer

By Staff | May 6, 2016

They prayed for their city, their servants and their country, which was founded under the principles set forth by God.

That is what city officials and residents did at council chambers at city hall Thursday during a special service to commemorate the National Day of Prayer, which featured prayer and song from several local pastors.

Dan Lumadue, pastor of Kings Way Christian Center, said this was one of many gatherings nationwide where participants prayed for community leaders and reset their faith, which should be reaffirmed daily.

“We come together around the things that are important to us. We understand our national heritage is embedded in the faith of God,” Lumadue said. “The founders of our nation believed as do I that establishing the government as a covenant nation, where the people are called to worship God, allows us to have a better life together.”

Lumadue started the 45-minute service by saying the nation is at a religious crossroads with all the acrimony in Washington and elsewhere. He took a quote from Benjamin Franklin that said, as the nation was first being founded, implored those leaders to pray for building the nation.

Lumadue’s remarks relied heavily on quotes from the founding fathers

Following renditions of God Bless America and the Star-Spangled Banner (with the rarely heard third stanza regarding God) several local pastors took their turns praying for those who make the nation great.

Rick Stevens, of Diplomat Church, prayed for the preservation of our nation, Jim Wigton, of the First Baptist Church of Cape Coral, prayed for truth, and Dennis Gingerich of Cape Christian Fellowship, prayed for our schools and educators.

Lumadue prayed for the city’s civil servants before all of them brought up retiring Police Chief Bart Connelly and soon-to-be interim chief David Newlan to pray for them and their success.

The National Day of Prayer is celebrated by proclamation from the president every first Thursday in May.

President Harry Truman established the day in 1952 when he signed a joint resolution from Congress. President Ronald Reagan amended the law in 1988, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday in May.

Since its creation, the National Day of Prayer Task Force has organized events every year “to mobilize prayer in America and to encourage personal repentance and righteousness in the culture,” its website says.

Councilmember Rana Erbrick said National Day of Prayer is an important part of our heritage and culture.

“It’s a way to remember our humble beginnings. There are those out there who are praying for the good of not only the city but the world, and those are important foundations we keep in the back of our minds because those are the tenents of where we came from,” Erbrick said.

Gingerich, who has been a part of this celebration for 30 years, said that people should do this daily, with the Sunday visit to church reaffirming those beliefs. The same with the National Day of Prayer.

“It’s not about one day of prayer, it’s about refocusing our need for prayer. We need to refocus on a lot of things in life, which is why we encourage people to go to a place of worship once a week,” Gingerich said. “It’s a chance to refocus and recalibrate our thinking and alignment.”