Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Residents offer prayers for city, state, nation

May 6, 2006


Lisa McFarland tapped into the emotion of about 200 people standing Friday inside the Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell Indian Nations University.

"Is Jesus Christ Lord in Lawrence?" she asked.

"Yes," they shouted.

"Is Jesus Christ Lord in Kansas?"

"Yes," they shouted again.

"Is Jesus Christ Lord in the United States of America?"

"Yes," they shouted again.

McFarland's husband, John, is the pastor at Christ Covenant Church, 2312 Harvard Road. Her speech on Friday started the more than 24-hour celebration, which drew people from several churches in Kansas. The event coincides with the National Day of Prayer.

Lawrence resident Carla Parris worships along with hundreds of other attendees at a National Day of Prayer ceremony Friday night at Haskell Indian Nations University.

Lawrence resident Carla Parris worships along with hundreds of other attendees at a National Day of Prayer ceremony Friday night at Haskell Indian Nations University.

"I open the gates of this city, of this state and this nation to our living God - Jesus Christ," she said.

McFarland and her prayer group planned the event in response to a media report in 2004 that questioned the prevalence of the church in Lawrence. The event will feature music, speakers and private rooms where people can pray.

Pomp and circumstance followed her short speech as trumpet and horn players ushered in a processional of more than 25 people carrying different flags onto the gym floor.

A praise and worship band blasted a melody as those in the bleachers stood on their feet and swayed to the music.

McFarland, whose family traces its ancestry to the Black Foot tribe, said she planned to pray for American Indian people, for issues involving the unborn and for community participation in the LEO Center, a nonprofit charitable Christian organization in Lawrence.

Booths were set up by various organizations in the hallway.

"Even though we are all different, we all worship the same Lord: Jesus Christ," McFarland said of the many denominations represented.

Wearing a "Got Jesus?" t-shirt, an attendee of Friday night&squot;s National Day of Prayer ceremony at Haskell Indian Nations University stands for the national anthem.

Wearing a "Got Jesus?" t-shirt, an attendee of Friday night's National Day of Prayer ceremony at Haskell Indian Nations University stands for the national anthem.

"I'll just be praying that the community can come together," said Terrell Session, of Ninth Street Baptist Church, 847 Ohio. "We can share that love around one another."

The threat of rain and the chilly temperatures forced the event inside from Haskell Stadium. The celebration lasted through the night and will continue with events all day today inside the gymnasium. It is open to the public, McFarland said.

A celebration service will begin at 6 p.m. today.

Joanna Beard, Lawrence, said she believes the circumstances around the event came together for a purpose.

"The focus is not about a group, but it's just about being unified as believers in the Lord and praying for unity in Lawrence and the nation," she said.

Ongoing worship

Members of various Lawrence and Kansas churches continue the more than 24-hour celebration, "Hear the Doves Cry," throughout the night to coincide with Thursday's National Day of Prayer. Events continue all day today inside the Coffin Sports Complex at Haskell Indian Nations University. All events today are open to the public, including private prayer rooms. A celebration service will begin at 6 p.m.


xenophonschild 12 years ago

Jesus is dead. He was not God when he was alive. It is sad that this mythological nonsense is perpetuated/propagated, at the expense of reason in the mind and hearts of the infected.

We need to shout it from the rooftops: Jesus is dead! Christianity is a lie! All the old sky-god religions are lies!

An' we doan' need yore stinkin' prayers.

lunacydetector 12 years ago

i have always considered myself a faithful believer but there was always that tiny little doubt in the back of my mind. when a loved one passed away a few years ago, the room filled with the aroma of roses, but originated from the very spot in the room where my loved one had died - yet there wasn't a flower in the house. the aroma lasted a whole week, and it brought great comfort to myself and my family.

that incident removed any doubts in my mind if there is a God or if there is an afterlife because i know for certain it is true.

DaREEKKU 12 years ago

You know, I don't have a problem with the concept of Christianity... I just have a problem with it's followers, especially when it's shoved down my throat and their ideas are attempted to be made into legislation. I've been screwed over by more "christians" than any other group of people. I have respect for religious people, but by all means keep them as far away from me and my government as possible...

mefirst 12 years ago

Yes, LJreader. You hit the nail firmly on the head.

mefirst 12 years ago

Lisa McFarland forgot to ask if JC is Lord over the planet. The crowd would've had to shout back "NO," since Christians only make up about 33% of the world's religious community. You missionaries better get a move on. Lots of folks yet to conquer and convert.

xenophonschild 12 years ago

There is no "life" after death; you simply cease to exist, as if you were never born.

There is no heaven, no hell, no "final judgment," no satan, no angels, and no purgatory. Sorry. You need to grow up and accept reality for what it is.

And Marion, slow down on the vino.

yourworstnightmare 12 years ago

Ignorance and superstition are alive and well in Lawrence and the world. Just look at that photo. Ugh! Why actually do something useful when you can just pray? You don't even need to get your hands dirty dealing with real problems of real people.

Prayer is the easy way out. Makes one feel like they are doing something without actually doing anything.

Foolish little monkeys.

yourworstnightmare 12 years ago

The Lord and Savior of the Earth is the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

You no longer have the excuse that you have not heard of Him, so you are now free to worship Him.

Cast about in the darkness no longer. FSM is Lord. Arrrrrrrr.

paladin 12 years ago

People create their own punishment, their own prison, their own damnation, and their own hell. Why is that?

Gareth Skarka 12 years ago

These people have a lot of nerve offering prayers for the nation, when it's their own American Taliban that have put us in the dire situation in which we find ourselves.

Blind belief, willful ignorance and evangelical fanaticism scares the living hell out of me. Just look at the pictures. All it would take is for one of their leaders to tell them to start stoking the bonfires, and they'd do it.

Welcome to the Christian Republic of Jesusland.

Kelly Powell 12 years ago

i allways hated working for a evangelical christian......Showing up ontime and doing your job wasnt ever enough, you had to listen to them try to save your soul all freakin least the chik tracts were amusing.

compmd 12 years ago

I wonder if xeno realizes that his definitive statements make him no different than the hardcore christians he so vehemently despises. Your desire to shout "from the rooftops" xeno makes you sound just like the christians trying to spread the word.

So what do you have against this "mythological nonsense?" That which you cannot prove true cannot be assumed to be false, or true for that matter.

yourworstnightmare 12 years ago

compmd: "That which you cannot prove true cannot be assumed to be false, or true for that matter."

Spoken like a true moral relativist.

kcwarpony 12 years ago

I have questions for the woman featured in the picture. When was the last time you visited your mother? The last time you checked in on her to see if she was well? Or do you think running into her at Wal-Mart once a year is enough? I know you and I know your mother. What kind of Christian are you?

I will be praying for YOU...

xenophonschild 12 years ago


Read the last thousand years of European history. See if you see a common thread, then post me back and we'll talk.

Also, take account of what Republicans are doing to publicly-funded science, due to their pandering to born-again idiots who constitute both their base and moral shortcomings.

compmd 12 years ago

All I wanted to bring up was that extremism one way or another doesn't help anybody. Open dialog and intelligent discussion on these topics are what we as people need to learn. Right now we're in a "You're stupid; no, YOU'RE stupid" phase in America, and it isn't good.

I work in science and engineering, and I experience the decay of publicly-funded science first hand. It is quite disappointing. I got rather annoyed when a project I was working on needed a new application after G-Dub decided that scientific priorities on government funded projects needed to be changed.

I didn't mean any offense.

average 12 years ago

From a well-known little homily known as the Sermon on the Mount:

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

---- (book of Matthew, NIV)

I have no idea what religion the "day of prayer" folks follow, but it sure isn't Jesus' teachings.

xenophonschild 12 years ago


My sympathies are with you. What the present administration has done to science is a cruel joke, one I hope we don't have to pay too dearly for in the future.

average: Get your drivel off this post. This - Lawrence - is reserved for educated intellectuals; please go to the Topeka Daily-Capitol website to relieve your angst.

Daniel Speicher 12 years ago

I recently wrote on one of my friends' blogs that I have no fear for those who are truly seeking the truth and who will not rest until they find it. My philosophy is this... I believe that Christ is THE truth (the only truth in which all other truths can be measured). If I believe Him to be true why should I be concerned with people seeking out the truth?

I encourage all people (saved and unsaved) to ask questions... It is not untrue that in the past Christians have "evangelized" and "converted" in inauthentic methods. These methods still exist today. It is time that we, as Christians start evangelizing in the way Christ intended us to... Not by sword or subversion, but by relationship and conversation.

I honestly believe that if people saw, even for a moment, the Light I have found in my life, they would understand why I believe... And, they, in turn, would believe as well. As Christians our role is not one of subverting the world or damning them by our words or actions... Our role is praying for the world, yes... But, also loving the world and, in turn, serving the world (as love requires a response... We cannot love the world and watch, idly, as homeless remain homeless, mentally ill remain mentally ill, poor remain poor and the starve continue to die, daily, of starvation.

Furthermore, I subscribe to St. Thomas Aquinas' view that Christianity and intellect (and, furthermore, science) can coexist... One needs not choose between being intelligent or Christian. One can be both. Spirituality and knowledge/wisdom are two pieces of the holistic person. One cannot be well-rounded without one or the other.

--Danny Speicher

xenophonschild 12 years ago


Sarcasm is lost against truth. Christianity is a tired creed; time to let it go.

Speicher: That sort of distorted logic might have sufficed in the 10th centurty, but not now. Since the advent of the Industrial Revolution, and the concomittant rise of empirical knowledge, your faith - and all the old sky-god religions - has been consigned to obsolescence. It is supremely annoying to some of us that your faith is taking so long to die. It is my fervent wish that I could find some way to help speed it along.

Grundoon Luna 12 years ago

xeno, sure religion is mythology, but it keeps people connected with Diety, offers hope, etc. If you chose to not belive in a supreme being, fine, but you'll probably stay in the minority. People often choose a differnt spiritual path rather than abandoning religion altogether. People find spiritaulity helpful which can be positive, especially when expressed positively, and it's not likely that the planet will be religion free any time soon. The difficult but necesary task for we humans is to work to resolve separatist issues, stop maligning "others," stop invoking Diety for the sake of conflict, and learn to respect and accept, dare I say celebrate, the differences in others. That would be really groovy, baby.

Daniel Speicher 12 years ago

Xeno, perhaps you could give me an argument outside of "sky-god religions are dumb" that would try and dissuade me from my beliefs?

I understand that the industrial revolution and the subsequent period of "enlightenment" did a great deal, philosophically, for our western cultures... But, what argument from that time period (or any of the subsequent time periods after that) appeal to your sense of logic that makes you so abundantly sure that there is no god?

--Danny Speicher

PS -- Azzure, well said... Although the "rabbit hole" goes much deeper than you think. But, once again, a diligent and unbiased search for truth will lead to truth. Either way, thanks for being a mediating force here.

Jayhawk94 12 years ago


Hitler wished that he could speed along the demise of the Jewish faith as well. Your hatred puts you in good company. Whoever came up with the "Kansas - as bigoted as you think" t-shirts must have had you in mind.

vjtaylor 12 years ago

It is very interesting that a harmless event such as people from different denominations and churches coming together to pray would arouse such venomous comments as some of the comments on this blog. Our purpose in coming together was to worship( which means to show honor and reverence to) who we believe to be the Creator of the heavens and the earth. The Lord God Almighty. We believe that the Bible means what it says, "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness, the world and all that dwell in it."(Psalms 24:1) We wanted to make declaration that Jesus Christ is Lord! We wanted to provide a place where people who love God could come together and sing and pray and use their talents to bless God and to share His love. Those who have accepted the Love of Christ know the joy of following Christ, and the peace in our hearts because of our acceptance of Him as Lord and Savior. It was wonderful to experience 24 plus hours of non-stop praise and worship and prayer to our God. Thank you Lisa and the team and all those who made this possible. Most of all thank you to our Lord Jesus Christ who died on the cross, who rose again in power and is coming back again. One last thing, to the one who made the comment about what our ancestors did. We cannot change what our ancestors did in the past, but we can change our present and our future. God loves all people; every color, and every nation, after all He created them. If we are truly God's people, we will love all people. We love the First Nations People. We recognize this was their land. We give honor to them. We thank them for allowing us to come and worship our God, who wants to be everyone's God, on their campus. By the way, Did you know that looking down from a small airplane Haskell Stadium is one of the prettiest sights in Lawrence?

Teri Griffin-Guntert 12 years ago

Wow! Look at all the dark spirits that got stirred up by way of God's people crossing denominations and praying for His nation and state. Keep up the good work my brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ. Let's keep these spirits stirred up until they leave their homes in the hearts of the angered and bitter ones similar to the above responders who, by the way need our continued love and prayers. They are obviously hurt. Anyone and everyone can see or has seen this if you have read the above comments. I pray that I will come to know you personally and you will not know me by what I declare to you but you will know me by the way I choose to love you. Big Blessings

Daniel Speicher 12 years ago

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." -- Ephesians 6:12

Those who post on this board are not our enemies, folks.

--Danny Speicher

vjtaylor 12 years ago

Average, Yes while what you wrote concerning What Jesus said in Matthew 6:5 ( the sermon on the mount) is true. In Acts 4: 31 it says And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost , and they spoke the word of God with boldness. 32. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: none of them thought the things they possessed were their own; but they had all things in common. There are many scriptures in the Bible that support The assembling of God's people coming together to pray. Acts 2:1,Matt 18:19, just to name a few.

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