MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Service members, families and Department of Defense civilians gathered together in reverent prayer at the Paradise Point Officers’ Club aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in honor of the National Day of Prayer, May 6.
“(The National Day of Prayer) is where we as a nation have recognized our need to seek the Lord, not only for ourselves and our families, but for our nation, our leaders and everyone involved here in the United States,” said Navy Lt. Richard Wiese, chaplain for Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCB Camp Lejeune, and coordinator of the event. “It’s desiring His blessing upon our lives in total.”
Attendees were served a hot breakfast before Col. Richard P. Flatau Jr., commanding officer of MCB Camp Lejeune, welcomed the crowd. He thanked everyone for coming and introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Robbie Morrison, founder and director of All Points Baptist Mission, a church mission agency and ecclesiastical endorser of military chaplains.
Morrison discussed how the Bible recounted many stories of God’s providence and direction in people’s lives, and said when those people sought the Lord and asked God, through prayer, He answered. Morrison encouraged military personnel to do the same.
“If we ask Him, He will hear and answer our prayers,” said Morrison. “He’s teaching us that we need to implore Him.”
After Morrison’s speech, chaplains led the guests in praying for the United States, the president and other key leaders, military personnel and their families, asking God to give wisdom and strength to each.
The National Day of Prayer was an open invitation and everyone from junior enlisted personnel to general officers, including Lt. Gen. Dennis J. Hejlik, commanding general of II Marine Expeditionary Force, attended the event to pay respects and show their support for the nation, its leaders and people.
Pfc. Matthew Dejeu, a rifleman with 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, said he enjoyed the opportunity to see the base come together to communicate with God.
“There’s nothing I love more than worshipping God, serving Him and talking to Him in prayer,” said Dejeu. “The fact that we all came together and prayed together, just like the other disciples of Jerusalem under one accord, meant something great happened. So I believe something great happened today.”
Since 1775, when the Continental Congress first asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, America’s government leaders have kept the tradition of formally recognizing prayer at a national level. In 1988, President Ronald Reagan amended and signed a law setting the first Thursday of every May as the National Day of Prayer.
Although there are many formalities acknowledging prayer as an important part of many people’s lives, Wiese encouraged people to pray on more than one occasion.
“Be connected to the one you serve,” said Wiese. “In that connection, you will find direction for your life as well.”