West Virginia Day of Prayer observed on Wednesday

CHARLESTON — Governor Jim Justice proclaimed March 25, 2020 a state-wide Day of Prayer and live streamed a virtual service on YouTube at noon on Wednesday. Bishops, Pastors and other religious leaders from across the state joined with performers to lead the audience in prayer and song. Justice introduced Dr. Dan Anderson, President of the Appalachian Bible College, who served as the moderator. The event kicked off with the Pledge of Allegiance, then words from Jim Justice. “The blessings that we have are unlimited, and yet we have struggles. And today, we surely are facing a monumental struggle,” Justice said. However, he remained hopeful, leading the audience in prayer. “Dear Heavenly Father, today throughout all of our globe, voices are calling out by the millions to You and I know without any doubt You’re hearing every single voice and that’s why I know You’re hearing mine right now. Mine, from our beautiful state that You’ve blessed us with beauty beyond comprehension. Blessed us from the ridgetops to our cities, to our four fabulous seasons, to all this beauty here that just abounds in every way that You’ve given us in West Virginia. But I also know that You’ve given us the beauty that is beyond belief in our people. Our people who are abound with truth and honor and faithbased and family. And those people today are concerned. They’re not necessarily worried because they have so much faith in You, dear God, but they're absolutely anxious, they’re absolutely concerned. I pray so much for those who are in the nursing homes that some way You’ll bring healing to all those who are affected. But Father I pray for all of us in our great state that You will intervene now and hear our words as I know You will, and some way, somehow, intervene to stop this terrible virus. Without any question, I know, I know in my heart that our only way in life, and our only way to conquer this terrible disease is You, our dear God, so I pray these words in Jesus’ name, I pray these words in God’s name. Please, dear Father, help us and help us now. Amen,” Justice prayed. Anderson led the viewers to recite the Lord’s Prayer and read from the Bible, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Senior Pastor Dr. John Smith at Teays Valley Missionary Baptist Church recited both Psalms 121 and Psalms 46. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble,” Smith said. He then added words of encouragement, “We are in trouble, we are in dark days, but I am thankful that help is on the way. I am thankful for a God that will help us.” Smithhen led the audience in prayer to ask God to intervene and help our state and nation. The ensemble from Maranatha Baptist Church in Sissonville sang God Bless America. Matt Friend, Senior Pastor at Bible Center Church in Charleston, prayed for our leaders, both national and local, then Mark Brennan, Bishop of the Diocese of Wheeling Charleston, prayed for the healthcare workers. In substitution of another scheduled performance, Anderson’s Executive Assistant Michael Rowe sang a rendition of the Lord’s Prayer. Next, Joe Blair, Rabbi of the Temple Israel of Charleston, prayed for those suffering from the COVID19 pandemic. Mrs. Teresa Bryant, retired music educator and pianist at First Baptist Church of Fairlea played a piano rendition of the West Virginia Hills. After reciting Psalms 23, Anderson introduced Dr. Mark Johnson, of the Independent Bible Church in Martinsburg, who led the audience in prayer, telling everyone to turn their fears into faith. Before closing the service, Governor Justice and Anderson gave closing thoughts. “From our mountaintops to our hollers, absolutely we ask just this, that God, we are going to give it all to You, every bit of this to You. Some way, somehow, we know You’re going to guide us through this. It’s going to go away, we’re going to be okay,” Justice said. Anderson added, “We are West Virginians who bond together and work together and we’re thankful for our governor as he leads us in this very strategic time.” Jeff Bryant, the Superintendent of Greenbrier schools and music director at First Baptist Church of Fairlea, played the United States National Anthem on trumpet. Anderson gave the Benediction, reciting Numbers 6:2426: “The Lord bless thee and keep thee. The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee. The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Before the event started, the governor addressed the state with an update. After the nursing home in Monongalia County tested all their patients and workers, 16 patients and four staff have tested positive, with 50 tests still pending. The governor asked viewers to continue to pray for the healthcare workers, who put themselves on the frontlines for everyone.