‘Never too late to call on Jesus’
by Haisten Willis
May 02, 2014 04:00 AM | 3054 views | 13 13 comments | 28 28 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lynn Willis and her husband,  Tracy, of Acworth, bow their heads in prayer for the nation and state with hundreds of others in attendance for the 30th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast on Thursday at the Cobb County Galleria Centre. <br> Staff/Kelly J. Huff
Lynn Willis and her husband, Tracy, of Acworth, bow their heads in prayer for the nation and state with hundreds of others in attendance for the 30th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast on Thursday at the Cobb County Galleria Centre.
Staff/Kelly J. Huff
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Burnt Hickory Baptist Church member Hector Contreras rises to his feet as the Turner Chapel AME Mass Choir sings.
Burnt Hickory Baptist Church member Hector Contreras rises to his feet as the Turner Chapel AME Mass Choir sings.
slideshow
Tonya Boga of Marietta bows her head in prayer for schools.
Tonya Boga of Marietta bows her head in prayer for schools.
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MARIETTA — One of the largest National Day of Prayer events in the country kicked off bright and early Thursday morning at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

The 30th annual Cobb County Prayer Breakfast was inside a packed John Williams Ballroom and drew nearly 1,000 people to celebrate God’s work.

Sponsored by a number of local businesses, the prayer breakfast featured the Turner Chapel Church Choir and a number of speakers, including Tip Top Poultry President Robin Burruss, Lockheed Martin General Manager Shan Cooper, Daniell Middle School Principal David Nelson, Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn and Ken Crosson, owner of Crosson Law Group.

The Turner Chapel choir sang “God Bless America,” “It Is Well” and other songs as the crowd listened in, clapping along to the more upbeat tunes. Gospel singer Babbie Mason also performed with the choir.

Prayer for nation, state, Cobb and schools

In order, speakers prayed for the nation and state, for the Cobb community and for local schools.

Burruss served as master of ceremonies for the event.

“It’s never too late to call on Jesus,” he said. “We’ll see a better day I’m sure.”

Many of the speakers talked about the struggles facing the world today. Cobb County Superior Court Judge Mary Staley read headlines from the Marietta Daily Journal detailing prostitution, gang violence, corruption and global conflict, among other issues.

“We only have to read our local newspaper or listen to the radio to know there is more work to be done,” she said.

Staley listed organizations such as the Salvation Army and Alcoholics Anonymous that provide help. She said that while the National Day of Prayer was begun in the 1980s, it really dates to 1776.

Shan Cooper talked about the all-important role God plays in her life.

“God is my everything,” she said. “He’s my joy, he’s my peace.”

She said the nation needs prayer because of these issues, as well as ethical, moral and religious decline in the country.

Nelson, the middle school principal, talked about his views on prayer.

“I’ve always believed the Lord has a purpose for everyone,” he said, adding he hopes his interactions show Christ is in him.

Nelson talked about the challenges faced by schoolchildren. He said students coming to school hungry because of poverty, or students who go home to houses with inadequate heat or air conditioning, often struggle to learn.

“When you’re hungry,” he said, “It’s hard to focus on learning.”

Parents also are under tremendous stress even in the best of situations, Nelson said. They have to balance work and personal commitments, while still trying to stay involved in their kids’ schools. Students face pressure to perform well in school and on tests at very young ages, and he thinks they participate in too many activities at times.

“Allowing kids to be kids is very important,” he said.

At the end of the program, attorney Ken Crosson told the story of how his wife nearly died because of a ruptured artery. Doctors thought she would never wake up after losing consciousness. But after friends and family prayed for mercy, she amazed physicians by making a full recovery.

One of the doctors told Crosson her miraculous recovery was due to “the work of the great physician.”

Organizers of first Cobb prayer event honored

The very first Cobb prayer breakfast was almost exactly 30 years ago, on May 16, 1985, at the Cobb Civic Center. Many of the organizers and speakers of that first event were honored Thursday, including Vinings Bank Executive Vice President Joe Daniell, developer John Williams, former Cobb Commission Chairman Earl Smith, former Governors Roy Barnes and Joe Frank Harris, as well as Mason.

After the program ended, Howard Cox, MUST Ministries development officer, shared his thoughts on the event.

“I enjoyed the layout, praying for our country, state and schools,” he said. “Anything can be done by God’s power. Prayer is an awesome (thing).”

He was especially touched by the story Crosson shared about his wife’s recovery when doctors thought there was no hope.

“Stick with God and he’ll walk you through it,” he said.

Comments
(13)
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anon153
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May 03, 2014
N.I.V. = Non Inspirational Version

A work of man and NOT God.

use Htolod
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May 03, 2014
What I found absolutely appalling on a day of non-partisan nationwide prayer is that "Dr." Dobson would name-call President Obama as he did. Shameless. Positively shameless. We all will answer to God someday, and that includes "Dr." Dobson for trying to divide nation further.
Raphael56_1973
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May 02, 2014
Why can't we appreciate something without criticizing it for not being perfect? And Yes, Jesus recited scripture, since it is his father's Word, it would make sense that to read scripture and be nice to others can happen together, and not be an either or thing.
ATL9
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May 02, 2014
I remember when these actually were prayer breakfasts and they were actually led by a pastor such as Charles Stanley. I haven't been to one in years because increasing they became a place to see and be seen by local politcos and business leaders with declining emphasis on prayer. I'm sure all the local politicians seeking office in the May primaries were there with heads bowed but hands out seeking votes.

Growing numbers of attendees would be great if they all came for the original mission of the event but as a social function and political "meet and greet", those numbers don't mean very much to me.
Susan4556
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May 02, 2014
It is nice to see this, and I would have attended it if I new of it sooner. Goodness knows, with the state of violence in our schools nationally, how we need to pray, and pray for the leadership in all our public offices. Thanks for doing this.
Lib in Cobb
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May 02, 2014
Please keep in mind. Jesus doesn't care how many Bible versus you commit to memory, he cares about how you treat people.
Mike Mersey
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May 02, 2014
@Lib in Cobb

You really should not pretend to know the mind of Jesus Christ, until you read the King James Bible, as a start. You could not be more mistaken. First and most important, Jesus cares about your salvation, via His shed blood. He is the ONLY way to the Father and eternal life. How you treat people is considered a good work. Good works come as a result of your being saved and becoming a follower of Jesus Christ. All the good works on this side of eternity will never earn your way into heaven and eternal life.
Ben Twomey
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May 02, 2014
You presume to speak for Jesus? Being that you are an atheist, you would do the better to speak to Him than for Him.

BTW, it is "verses: not "versus".
anonymous
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May 03, 2014
Mike M., you should practice what you preach. You said to Lib, "You really should not pretend to know the mind of Jesus Christ." Well, where in the Bible do I find it, Mike, that YOU know the mind of Jesus? Disgusting. The Bible is up to each and every individual in the entire world as to the personal relationship they have with Christ. No, Mike, you don't have the power to make everyone think as you think, no matter how much you proclaim you, yourself, are intimate with the mind of Jesus Christ as opposed to other individual.

anonymous
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May 03, 2014
So, Mike Mersey, what you just said is that a person should "really not pretend to know the mind of Jesus Christ until they have read the King James Bible, as a start." Well, show me that command from God in the King James bible that people must read the King James version first as opposed to the New International Version of the Bible distributed among countless other versions coming out every day, including a new version of the Bible written in very modern language and endorsed by the Grahams. Please retract your slander against Lib, and push the ego deflate button on your overinflated erroneous Bible scholar balloon.

anonymous
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May 03, 2014
What are you babbling about here, Mike? Your babble makes absolutely no sense at all whatsoever. None, Nada. So, read King James and you will go to Heaven and if you don't read King James you are going to the bad place? Twilight zone music here.
Jesus Lovers
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May 03, 2014
We are trying to understand your statement, Mike, "You really should not pretend to know the mind of Jesus Christ, until you read the King James Bible, as a start." Okay, no one here is pretending to know the mind of Jesus Christ, however, we can't find it anywhere in the King James Bible that we have to read that version to know the mind of Jesus Christ. Actually, we cannot find in ANY version of the Bible where it says we know the mind of Jesus Christ. Can you clue us in on that one? How we can know the mind of Jesus Christ? Jesus is a super power, but we don't feel we have access to his brain (mind). If you do, please let us know how we can tap into the mind of Jesus Christ as you have. I, personally, have never heard anywhere of anyone tapping into the mind of Jesus Christ except from you. Written word, yes; reading mind, no.
OMGawd
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May 04, 2014
OMGawd. This Mike person actually said, "You really should not pretend to know the mind of Jesus Christ," then went on to say "until you read the King James Bible, as a start." What does that mean? If you read the King James Bible you will know the mind of Christ? Maybe not. It says, "as a start." So this Mike person knows how to tap into the mind of Jesus Christ and gives the rest of us a hint on how to begin to do so? Don't leave us, hanging, Mike. What else do we need to do as a start to not pretending we know the mind of Jesus Christ? What do we do after reading the King James Bible in order to tap into Jesus' mind as you imply you have?
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