Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

May 2, 2014

A special way to celebrate

Mark Maynard
The Independent

Washington, D.C. — On Thursday we celebrated the National Day of Prayer in the Ashland area with events practically from daylight until dark.

It’s still nice to know we recognize this special day in big ways.

I wasn’t in town for our events but was on the Ashland Safety Patrol trip to Washington, D.C., where we visited the United States Capitol early yesterday morning.

To be honest, we weren’t even thinking about the National Day of Prayer when we started our day with 4:45 a.m. wakeup calls.

But as we were leaving the steps on the back side of the Capitol after getting a Kodak moment with U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, we went to the front of the Capitol building where we saw something a bit unusual.

There was a 90-hour Scripture reading marathon going on in front of the building. People were taking turns reading passages from the Bible. My wife noticed what was happening and took her Rose Hill safety patrol group to examine it further. She spoke to a woman in charge and she saw Beth’s group was from a Christian school. A couple of her readers had not shown up and she asked Beth if they would like to take a turn reading.

Beth jumped at the opportunity, and the students followed in step behind her. They read for about 10 to 15 minutes total and were part of a select group. Beth actually took a couple of turns reading from the pages in front of her. Her students, six in all, took at least one turn apiece.

This was the 25th annual U.S. Capitol Bible Reading Marathon and it started Sunday and ended on Thursday. It was established in 1990 to bring hundreds of believers to the west front to read aloud the entire word of God without commentary. There is no preaching. It started at 5 p.m. Sunday and went around the clock until Thursday.

It celebrates the First Amendment freedoms we enjoy today including freedom of speech and freedom of religion. It's said to be a time to set aside differences and unify around the Bible.

It was certainly a different way to participate in the National Day of Prayer but a memorable one for her sixth-grade patrol group. She was positively glowing about the opportunity that was presented for herself and the students.

Apparently hundreds come out to support the endeavor every year and now a small group from Ashland was part of it, too, on the silver anniversary.

So is prayer the answer to all that ails Washington, D.C.? Well, let’s just say it doesn’t hurt.

God is the answer and prayer is a means.

Having the entire Bible read in front of the U.S. Capitol, where tremendous decisions are being made every day, certainly seemed like a good idea to me. It’s also important that it was read without commentary because the Word stands on is own merits anyway.

It was a National Day of Prayer that we won’t soon forget.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.