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Tue, Apr 25, 2017 11:38 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue

Many turn to prayer in times of war
by Jerry Pennington

LOUISA — In an address to troops at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida last week, President Bush said that people across this country are praying.


“They are praying that they hope those families and loved ones will find comfort and grace in their sorrow,” Bush said. “We pray that God will bless and receive each of the fallen, and we thank God that liberty found such brave defenders.”

And he’s correct, people across the nation are praying, and people here at home are praying as well.

“The one thing a person can do when they have no control of something is pray,” Pat Fields of Louisa said. Fields is the mother of Corporal Nick Houser who is aboard the USS Saipan in the Persian Gulf.

Many church services across the region take time to pray for our troops and our leaders, which brings about a question — is the war with Iraq prompting a revival in the U.S.?

Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, churches across the nation saw a bulge in attendance, and some may be experiencing the same as our troops begin to face heavy combat.

“I think the value of prayer is challenged or consistent throughout life,” Ric Frazier, pastor of First Baptist Church in Louisa, said. “But under the conditions, more people are viewing prayer as an option ... when the circumstances go beyond their control.”

At Savage Memorial Church in Fallsburg, the church has a special prayer for the nation’s troops and leaders before the service, Rev. Jack Savage said.

“(Prayer) is very important,” Savage said. “It’s probably the most important thing we can do as a citizen.”

Frazier said when something of this magnitude happens, with some 30,000 troops from Kentucky alone being deployed, there’s not a community that isn’t touched.

“I think the prayer just intensifies,” Frazier said. “There’s not necessarily more prayer, it’s just more focused.”

The First Baptist Church takes during each service to pray for the nation’s troops and leaders, to the point where they go through several names.

Frazier said his church alone has 23 people affected by having family members involved in the war in some way. This gives the church an opportunity to minister to those families.

“Folks feel better about it if they can do something tangible to benefit the troops,” Frazier said.

The one precaution Frazier has is that people are praying for the right reasons.

“I think that this does drive us closer to God ... but ultimately we have to look at the big picture,” Frazier said. “We have to appreciate God and country.”

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