By Debra Minor Wilson
Times West Virginian
Under a warm noon sun and cloudless blue sky, in front of the Marion County Courthouse, a crowd prayed almost nonstop for more than an hour Thursday afternoon.
They were there for the annual National Day of Prayer observance as a round robin of pastors and other officials offered prayer for national, state and local governments; marriage and families; law enforcement and first responders; educators; media; businesses; homeless; and local pastors and churches.
“Prayer is pretty much everything to me,” said the Rev. Sam Polis, part of the teaching team at Faith Church International, who offered the final prayer for a national spiritual awakening.
“Everything I do is done in the context of prayer — everything in my life. This was a great, great honor to get to pray in the name of Jesus at the courthouse. It’s not always the case that this is allowed.
“The whole experience ... working with the other pastors ... was incredible.”
The importance of having a National Day of Prayer depends on your faith, he said.
“If you’re not a Christ person, then it’s not important to you at all,” Polis said. “As a Christ person, I don’t expect everyone to be Christ people. That would be antithetical to God’s free will. It’s very subjective.
“But the concept is very important to me. It’s important because of my beliefs. You have to believe in the power of prayer. If you don’t, then it was just a bunch of people up there with psychobabble.”
The words he and the other speakers shared held power, he said.