GALLIPOLIS — With recent tensions roiling across the nation, locals gathered in Gallipolis City Park last week to pray for the lives of those recently lost in various tragedies across the country, and the everyday struggles of responders serving the country in those situations.
“This is pretty awesome and I just wanted to thank you guys for coming out tonight,” said event organizer Michelle Poling-Williams. “It means a lot to me. After the shootings in Dallas, I told Bub, ‘I just feel like God is leading me to to do something.’ I thought we needed to do a prayer vigil. Whether there are five of us here or 50, prayer changes things. I believe that. I know that as the widow of a fallen officer, I understand the grief and the hurt.
“This, today, is not just about police officers. It’s not about race. This is about love. This is about love and coming together and praying for one another.”
Poling-Williams said a friend had posted on social media that several individuals were getting together last Thursday due to 2 Chronicles 7:14 in the Bible. The verse as read by Poling-Williams states, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from Heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Poling-Williams said she felt, at times, it was difficult for a community to know in which direction go for in what to pray.
“We know that our heart breaks for our nation and those who serve it,” she said. “We cry out for mercy and we need a healing.”
Mercerville teens read church scripture to the assembled. The crowd then joined hands with teens to pray their own prayers, either silently or aloud.
Dakota Wroten led a brief message with the assembled.
“You people are here today because your recognize that there’s a problem, ” Wroten said. “There is a problem in our country and in our neighborhood. It’s not race division. It’s not mental sickness. It’s not a gun problem. It’s a sin problem, bottom line. It’s led into tearing our homes and communities apart.”
Wroten went on to describe how he felt the nation needed to join together in spiritual fellowship so that what was described in 2 Chronicles 7:14 could happen.
Poling-Williams led the group in a brief musical performance before thanking people for attending. Attendants prayed for the country and leadership before parting ways.
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, Ext. 2103.