By Shana Adkisson
The Norman Transcript
NORMAN — Thursday’s cold rain didn’t curb Cheryl Lisle from hosting the annual National Day of Prayer in Norman.
Earlier Thursday morning, Lisle said she contemplated canceling the prayer service due to the weather and joining a service in Oklahoma City. However, Lisle decided to move the service from outdoors to inside the city manager’s office at the city of Norman.
“It was a battle that I couldn’t see and we need to pray,” said Lisle, National Day of Prayer Task Force Volunteer. “God is telling us He wants effective fervent prayer, and rather than being general, He desires it to be specific.”
This year marked the 62nd annual National Day of Prayer. This year’s theme was “Pray for America,” based on Matthew 12:21, which reminds individuals that “In His name the nations will put their hope.”
“As I pondered this scripture, I thought of how many times I have tried to do things in my own strength and way,” Lisle said. “It just works much better when we involve our heavenly Father and follow His will and way. When I pray and listen for His plan I find that peace is close at hand. The best gift I have ever received was learning that I was supposed to have a relationship with my Father in heaven. Surely he died on the cross so I could have a relationship not just religion.”
Norman City Councilman Chad Williams attended Thursday’s service and asked that churches in Norman unite in prayer and worship.
“To look at what we have in common with each other and not what our differences are. To unite and come together and pray for our city and nation and ask God to heal our land and restore all that has been lost,” said Williams, who also serves as the associate pastor of Harvest Church in Norman. “We serve a redemptive God.”
During the service, a prayer was said for local, state and national government.
“We pray this for the President of the United States Barrack Obama and all national leaders, Gov. Mary Fallen, all House of Representatives and Senate, especially Scott Martin, Emily Virgin, Aaron Stiles, Rob Standridge, John Sparks and Tom Cole,” Lisle said during the service. “All administration at the state level, Norman Mayor Cindy Rosenthal, Norman Council James Griffith, Tom Kovach, Chad Williams, Dave Spaulding, Robert Castleberry, Linda Lockett, Roger Gallagher, Gregory Jungman, City Manager Steve Lewis, Chief of Police Keith Humphrey, Fire Chief Fullingim and all city of Norman administration and personnel.”
Following prayers for Cleveland County officials, those in attendance also prayed for area churches, military, families, education, media and businesses.
“Father we thank you today for hearing our prayers. We thank you for allowing us to come to the throne room of God today with our prayers and have expectant hearts our prayers will be answered that Norman, Okla., and America would be blessed and honor you and your word,” Lisle said. “We thank you that Norman would be that city on the hill for all the world to see that honors you. Help us, Father, fulfill every desire and plan you had for this land known as Norman, Okla.”