About 30 people spent two hours praying at the statehouse this morning, praying that key legislators will have a “change of heart” and endorse a statewide vote on a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
For almost a year the top two Democrats in the Iowa legislature have said they will not allow debate on a resolution that would set up that statewide vote. A group from Wright County that has been lobbying for the constitutional amendment on gay marriage organized the prayer vigil. The prayer meeting was held in a small statehouse conference room and concluded with recitation of The Lord’s Prayer and the singing of a hymn that’s featured in Easter Sunday services at many Christian churches.
Reverend Harvey Opp of the Peace Reformed Church in Garner led the two-hour event. “We wanted to join together in prayer as Christians from different denominations and background and so forth to really unite and seek the mercies of our Lord for our state,” Opp says.
The group gave thanks, prayed for both guidance and for inspiration. Greg Carlson, a youth pastor at the Goldfield United Methodist Church, was among a handful of pastors who led the group in prayer. “Help us to come before you and seek your Spirit, that your Spirit will give us the words,” Carlson prayed. “Father, I don’t know the answers, but I just seek your word and I seek your face. I seek your direction,”
Carlson prayed for both strength and boldness. “We’re scared. We’re nervous. This great country of ours that we all love so well is under attack and we worry about that,” he prayed. “We worry that our sons and daughters aren’t going to be raised in the America that we were raised in.”
Opp, the pastor who led the prayer meeting, says Christians are called to be a praying people. “You know, Christ’s own example, he spent all night at prayer at time, hours until his disciples saw that and said, ‘Teach us to pray,'” Opp says. “We should still have that attitude, of course, Christians should, all our lives.”
Opp and the rest of the group left the vigil and headed out to the steps of the statehouse to rally with others who support a constitutional amendment that would make gay marriage illegal in Iowa.
Listen to the minute-long Radio Iowa report here: capprayingx