Faithful Dandelions in the Wind
“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” Chronicles 7:14
That was the verse before a crowd of about 50 people who gathered Friday evening at Northpoint Nazarene Church.
Pastor Greg Gilberto had called the Prayer Summit in hopes of beginning a healing process for the city of Poplar Bluff.
“I have never done this before,” Gilberto told the gathering. “But I feel this is something we need to do.”
Gilberto has been disturbed by what he described as a feeling of a “wet blanket” laying over the city in the form of divisive politics and mean-spirited rhetoric.
Gilberto called upon God to bless the city and its leaders with “wisdom, guidance, and peace.” His hope is that all personal agendas be put aside in order to move the city forward.
“We are calling upon God, who is bigger than politics and popularity. We humble ourselves, and pray that God will forgive our negativity,” said Gilberto.
He also prayed for city leaders like City Manager Heath Kaplan and the city council members to have the strength to do what is best for the city. He said he realizes that at times the weight of city politics must weigh the leaders down.
Several attending the prayer summit agreed.
Pam Sharp noted that change must first come from the House of God.
“We all need clean and pure hearts, and the right spirit,” she said. “Let us be kingdom builders rather than empire builders.”
Jerry Murphy commented that he is grateful to live in an area with so many positive things, but prayed that God’s spirit would “permeate this whole area.”
“I pray that all of our leaders and pastors will be a bright and shining light for the community,” said Murphy.
Jackie Gilberto commented that all must not “point a finger of judgment, but draw all into the Kingdom.”
In the end, Greg Gilberto said, “What does prosperity mean if we lose our souls? Prosperity of the soul is all that really matters.”
David Hornbeck said it is time to “leave the past in the past.”
“I realize there have been many people hurt. But I pray they can leave that hurt in the past. Now is the time to build a future.”
“God is breaking down walls,” concluded Gilberto. “This can be a turning point.”
So…like a dandelion in the wind, Gilberto’s hope is that faith will replace doubt, and everyone will be enveloped in a love for one another so that the community of Poplar Bluff can move on to a brighter future.
City Council member Peter Tinsley was the only city government official in attendance at the meeting, and Gilberto prayed for an anointing of his spirit, that he and the other council members and city officials would have the “conviction to stand for what is right.”
“I believe God can make a difference. We can make a difference,” concluded the pastor.