HomeOpinionOPINION: Praying at the Carl Perkins Civic Center

OPINION: Praying at the Carl Perkins Civic Center

by Todd E. Brady

Guest columnist

I’m thankful for the Jackson Area Ministerial Association who sponsored the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast at the Carl Perkins Civic Center on May 4.  I’m also thankful that the Mayor hosted this significant event for our city.  How good to be a part of brothers and sisters across the city uniting to seek the Lord and ask for his guidance and blessing.

I’ve said for some time that what you permit, you promote.

I’m thankful for leadership that promotes a community looking to God and God’s leadership as it relates to local and national government, businesses, education, law enforcement, military, first responders, firefighters, families, and churches.  On that morning, it was most appropriate that we all joined together and were led in prayer by one of our County Commissioners who prayed specifically for unity.

As I sat at the table with others and prayed, I couldn’t help but think about the many activities I had attended and that had taken place over the years at the Civic Center.  I participated in choral concerts there as a kid.  I remember seeing Jerry Clower there as a teenager.  As a father, I’ve watched my kids perform in plays there.  Amy and I have heard George H. W. Bush and Margaret Thatcher there.  Not long ago, we heard the Oak Ridge Boys in concert there.  Giddy up, oom poppa, oom poppa, mow mow!

The theme for the National Day of Prayer was PRAY FERVENTLY IN RIGHTEOUSNESS.  An employee of the local government prayed and acknowledged that while we believe in the separation of church and state, we cannot separate our faith from who we are.  Indeed.

As I sat at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, I wondered what God himself was thinking as he looked into our hearts and heard prayers coming from a city venue which had hosted many, many events—some that might not be considered in congruence with what we were now doing. 

Now, not every event at a city venue must include prayer, have the trappings of a religious service, or be characterized by righteousness.  We have church houses throughout the community for those types of things.

As I prayed there at the Carl Perkins Civic Center, I was reminded of James’s words about the tongue.  He said “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.  From the same mouth come blessing and cursing.  My brothers, these things out not to be so.  Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water?”  3:9-11 

What kind of water is our community seeing coming out of that venue?

There are some cities that do not host Mayor’s Prayer Breakfasts or observe the National Day of Prayer.  I’m glad that my wife and I are raising our kids in a town where leadership encourages us to pray fervently in righteousness.  May all events at the Carl Perkins Civic Center be characterized by “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, [and] whatever is commendable….”  Philippians 4:8

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