A ‘Step At A Time’

Former GOP Hopeful Puts Faith In Power Of Prayer

Posted: May 2, 2014

Bishop E.W. Jackson, 2013 Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, speaks during the National Day of Prayer service at First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg on Thursday. (Photos by Michael Reilly / DN-R)
Anne Zumbro bows during the service.
Bishop E.W. Jackson speaks during the National Day of Prayer service at First Presbyterian Church on Thursday.

HARRISONBURG — “The greatest power in the universe is prayer because it connects us with the one who made the universe.”

With those words, Bishop E.W. Jackson encouraged the faithful who gathered Thursday evening at First Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg as part of a National Day of Prayer observance.

Jackson, a Chesapeake pastor who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in 2012 and was the party’s candidate for lieutenant governor last year, quoted numerous scriptures, hymns, President Abraham Lincoln and Ben Franklin during his sermon.

Quoting Lincoln, Jackson said that the nation has forgotten God because its people are too proud to pray to the God who made them.

“He saw the Civil War as a prayer failure,” Jackson said.

In spite of some who see a nation in peril, Jackson has hope.

“As long as people like us are here praying for this land, no matter how bad things get, everything is going to be all right,” he said.

Christians are told they can’t say a prayer in a public square because they might offend someone, Jackson said, while others can say what they wish.

“They can talk about us as much as they please, the more they talk we’ll stay on our knees,” he said, quoting a Christian song.

Jackson cited the example of God telling Abraham that he was willing to spare Sodom if 10 righteous souls were found there.

But God is willing to listen to one person, too. Jackson recalled the example of God telling the Old Testament prophet Ezekiel that he looked for a man to stand in the gap and found none.

“None of us can afford not to pray,” Jackson said. “We don’t know how to get out of the mess that we’re in in this country, but we do know how to pray. If we keep our eyes on God He will show us what to do. We don’t need to fear evil.”

Jackson said he is asked how he remains so optimistic about the nation. He said it’s because he believes what the Bible says, “Ask and it shall be given.”

“I believe God is going to turn it around,” he said. “I don’t know the plan. … He shows us one step at a time. He shows us what we’re supposed to do.”

Jackson said he doesn’t hate anyone in public office. Instead he prays for them.

“We have leaders who think they know better than God. They’re not smarter than God,” he said.

People are concerned about nuclear weapons and global warming, but they should be concerned about moral cooling, he said.

The National Day of Prayer began in 1952 when Congress passed and President Harry S. Truman signed a proclamation declaring it.

The event included prayers for the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government along with the military, first responders, churches, families, educators, the entertainment industry and the media.

Contact Caleb M. Soptelean at 574-6293 or csoptelean@dnronline.com

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