Attendees to the annual Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast didn’t let the rain stop them from taking time to pray for the city, the state and nation — or as one attendee said “People still love Jesus in the rain.”
Chamber President and CEO Chris Deal first explained what the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast was about.
“The Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast is patterned after the national day of prayer held annually in Washington D.C. It is designed as a time of prayer for our city, for our state and our nation,” he said. “Also as a time of personal refection and rededication to God in our country.”
Next, Deal presented Mayor Ritchie Dennington with a Distinction Award from the city for his coined support of the breakfast.
Deal then went into this year's theme.
“Today at the Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast our theme is the seven redemptive names of God in one— Jehovah, refers to God’s relationship to man, He is our Lord,” he said. “The seven names of God show that redemption is the release of a hostage or prisoner upon receipt or ransom. We were redeemed when Christ died for us, He made the ultimate sacrifice. These seven names show the love God has for us that when he made the ultimate sacrifice of His son’s life.”
The names can all be found in place together.
“When you journey though Psalm 23, you will find the seven redemptive names of God — the lamb of God, concealed with in each,” Deal said. “Please join me this morning as we come together as a ‘Community in unity’ to declare and decree that these names of God are — a mountain moving power for our lives and our community.”
The names of God each had a speaker to explain how that aspect of God’s power worked in the person’s life. The names were: Jehovah-Jireh, God is our provider; Jehovah-Rophe, God is our healer; Jehovah-Shammah, God is always there; Jehovah-Shalom, God is our peace; Jehovah-Rohi, God is our Shepard; Jehovah-Nissi, God is our battle fighter; Jehovah-Tsidkenu, God is our rightness.
Speaking on God the provider was Adrianna Arrington and Lindsay Hayes. Arrington spoke about her daughter and how her journey to college changed, but with God’s grace, her daughter’s education so far is now debt free.
Arrington also said the college her daughter ended up at is in Seattle Washington, a place Arrington called her “safe spot.”
Hayes then got up and talked about the surprise adoption of her son, from a call in the morning asking if they wanted him to less than 24 hours later, having him in their home.
She said that day her home was full of baby items, food and a freezer of breast milk, which were given to their suddenly growing family.
Hayes said another interpretation for Jehovah-Jireh was not only “provider” but also more specifically provider of life, which through the adoption of her son gave him life, and therefore gave her and her husband — life.
“The provision was so astounding,” she said. “The provision that was provided to us with Theo and everything that came with him — those were provided throughout people, God used people, He didn’t just snap his fingers and stuff appeared in my living room.”
Dennington touched on Jehovah-Shalom, or peace when speaking about his daughter and her sudden passing.
Dennington said he had never really spoken publicly about his daughter’s death and to “please bear with me.”
The story began with how going to church wasn’t a big deal in his family growing up, the option was there but as a boy he liked going with dad to the coffee shop.
“In 1986, August the 10th, I had a daughter, I decided for her I better start going to church — not for me but for her,” he said. “We went and after about the third Sunday I mentioned to my wife ‘I don’t know what the kids are getting out of this but I think this is where I need to be.’”
Dennington talked about his daughter, Jordan, and their “normal life,” about how Jordan got married, moved away, got pregnant and moved back to Duncan.
“Everything seemed to be going just as we hoped and always wanted, having your kids safe and involved (in church),” he said. “She had a long post on Facebook about how she had found God.”
Next Dennington said Jordan got the flu in February.
“On March the 26th, we get a a phone call from Jordan, she’s sick again and can we come and babysit? Well Nora and I both were super busy — I actually had a drug test that day, you don’t just blow those off,” he joked.
Later the next day, coming home from his test, he got “the phone call.”
“I got the phone call no parent wants to get from her husband, and he’s really upset ‘I think Jordan’s dead,’” Dennington said. “I was within 20 minutes of their house, I actually beat the (first responders).”
Jordan passed away, despite the best efforts.
“The feeling that you get, you never think it’s going to happen to you — your perfect storybook life has crashed and there is nothing left,” he said.
The aftermath was hard according to Dennington.
“The feeling I remember most was I was mad, I got mad, not at God but at the situation, then I got mad at Jordan for dying, which sounds funny but that’s part of the grieving process,” he said. “What I learned was Jordan was never mine, she was always God’s, she was a gift He gave us for a short period of time. It enabled us to get the gift of a grandson and the life we had with her.”
But through it all he found some peace.
“Part of my peace with this is I am very fortunate to know where my daughter is. I know she’s in heaven, and I know that she didn’t die a horrible death over a long period, and we didn’t just find her car somewhere in a parking lot and wonder where she’s at everyday,” Dennington said. “I can’t imagine the terror of not knowing where your child is, but God allowed us to know.”
The breakfast ended in a community praise and worship song lead by Mark and Genora Spain.