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More than 60 people attend vigil

Commissioner holds prayer in wake of Parkland

COLUMBUS — A prayer vigil called by Polk County Commissioner Vice Chair Myron Yoder last week drew about eight local pastors and more than 60 people.

Yoder called for a prayer following 17 people being killed in Parkland, Florida, in a school shooting.

The prayer vigil was at the Polk County High School sign off Highway 108 in Columbus, on Saturday, Feb. 24.

During the Polk County Board of Commissioner meeting on Monday, commissioner Tommy Melton reviewed the vigil and said there was nothing political about what Yoder was doing: “it was simply a statement of prayer from our Lord and Savior.”

“America has been harmed by the death/slaughter of 17 people in Florida, children and adults,” Melton said. “Mr. Yoder felt the need to ask the citizens of Polk County to come out and pray for unity and for protection for our youth.”

The following is the prayer Melton gave at both the vigil and as the invocation at the board of commissioner meeting on Monday:

Heavenly Father, we are so grateful that You are all-seeing and all-knowing. You have Your eye on each and every person on this earth, including our children and youth. Thank You for faithfully watching over them every day. We thank you for keeping your angels stationed around them day and night. Thank You, Lord, for guarding their lives in the face of seen and unseen dangers. We worship you, for you watch over our children and youth. You stand beside them as their protective shade.  All praises to you, our Father and our God!

Dear Father, when our children and youth are at home, you are there. When they are in school, you are there.

Wherever they go, you are there. We believe in the power of Your Word, so we commit ourselves to declaring blessings over our children and youth every day. In the Name of Jesus, we rebuke every foul plot of the enemy to harass, bully, injure, harm, or kidnap our children and youth. The blood of Jesus covers them and guards their steps. We declare that our children and youth live in the shelter of the Most High, and they find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. You alone are their refuge and their place of safety. You are their God, and they trust

You. Lord, we expect you to rescue them from every trap, and protect them from deadly disease. You promised that you will cover them with your feathers. You will shelter them with your wings. These promises are their armor and their protection.

Give us the courage to take action when we see warning signs of impending danger around them. Help us to come together in Polk County to protect our children.

Dear Father, forgive us for our sins, especially those we have committed against our children and youth.

Forgive those who discourage and demean our children and youth.  Help us to share the love of Jesus with our children and youth.

In Jesus’ precious, holy name, Amen.