While politicians argue about how or if America needs to become great again, a segment of Williams County believes it all comes down to prayer.
Several hundred people spent their morning Sept. 27 at the Wesley United Methodist Church for the 42nd Bryan Area Christian Prayer Breakfast. Those gathered were able to fellowship and worship and listen to a message of hope through prayer.
Carol and Kristen Kurivial of Luminous Ministries were the guest speakers. Kristen also led the gathering in a time of praise and worship songs.
The event’s theme “Devoted to Prayer,” came from Acts 1:14 where the disciples of Christ devoted themselves to prayer in anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit. When Janella Tilton shared with her what the theme would be, she was extremely excited, she said.
“Just hearing her say the words “devoted to prayer” was a like balm to our souls,” Carol Kurivial said.
The sad state of the nation has left many wondering where God can be found. He seems to be absent from schools, the government and in an ever-increasing segment of the population, Carol Kurivial said.
“In America we see racial tensions, acts of terrorism, kidnappings, killings and death all around us,” Carol Kurivial said. “Violence is everywhere.”
The nation appears to be a post-Christian time, but she says it is time for its people to wake up.
Kristen Kurivial sang the Casting Crowns song “Will You Be Sleeping,” and asked the audience if the nation will be sleeping and will it no longer have room for its King, Jesus Christ.
Prayer has played a major role in Carol Kurivial’s life. Her mother prayed earnestly and knew it was her lifeline, when her husband died in a winter storm leaving her with four young children. Carol was 5.
“It would give her the grace and the strength to keep her focused and doing the next right thing,” Carol Kurivial said.
Prayer helped her mother with her sister’s death from cancer and her brother aneurysm that left him hospitalized for a year.
“My mom gets the importance of prayer and she has helped me to ‘get it’ too,” Carol Kurivial said. “But getting it and doing it are not the same thing, are they?”
To do it in this sense means to invoke discipline in one’s’ prayer life to get to point where the prayers can impact the nation’s integrity, morality, unity and fortitude, she said.
She played a clip from Remember the Titans, which tells the true story about a community divided by race used football to come together. It started with the players and coaches and eventually the town.
She shared some stories from George Washington about his prayer life which included an hour of prayer at 9 p.m. and another hour at 4 a.m.
She related the story of a Quaker man who was loyal to the king, came up on Washington during one of his prayers outside Valley Forge.
She referred to paintings that depict this moment to let the audience know they are based on fact.
When the Quaker man heard Washington pray he went home to his wife and said their cause was lost. The couple became loyal to the cause of independence based on Washington’s fervent prayers.
Kristen Kurivial told the audience the modern believer must follow the example of the early church and the young nation in its devotion to prayer. Gatherings such as the Prayer Breakfast encourages her that there are people serious about their faith.
To accomplish the goal of being fervent in prayer, Carol Kurivial has come up with an acronym DIE. D-Deliberate, I-Intentional and E-Energized in our devotion to prayer.
She urged her audience to truly seek God and they would truly find God.
Later, while the pair were in a receiving line, an attendee pointed out to Carol the painting of Washington kneeling in prayer was hanging in the foyer. Carol was pleasantly surprised as she was unaware of the painting.
“That’s the Holy Spirit,” Carol Kurivial said.
James Pruitt may be reached at