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Prayer & Hospitality at Wyoming Statehouse [OPINION]

(hpebley3, Flickr)

The following is an editorial piece from Gina Gibson, the National Day of Prayer Coordinator for the State of Wyoming.  This year’s event will take place on Thursday, May 3rd.

“In an era when bad news seems to prevail, especially when it comes to our government and politicians, I have gone in search of some good news. A few years ago, I was appointed as the National Day of Prayer Coordinator for the State of Wyoming, and I found myself much more interested in how our State conducts business. Before accepting this position, I had rarely had reason to enter our State Capitol, but at that time I decided that I needed to become a regular visitor. I felt like a “fish out of water” during those early visits, especially as I sat in the balcony of either the Wyoming House or the Senate. But I was intrigued! Now, I continue to find the workings of our Wyoming government very fascinating, and you will often find me sitting in the balconies during Legislative sessions.

“Being new to my role as NDP WY coordinator, I was very encouraged one day when Secretary of State, Max Maxfield, approached me after one of our observances in the Capitol Rotunda. He made sure to introduce himself to me and to give me some words of encouragement. Since that time, our Secretary of State has welcomed me into his office numerous times, and has been so gracious to talk with me and to answer all my questions. He has even taken time out of his busy schedule to telephone me personally when he has felt that I have concerns that have not been addressed.

“I have recently heard that there is concern that our religious rights are being infringed upon at our State Capitol. When I saw the name of our Secretary of State, Max Maxfield, in several of the articles, I knew that I must go and visit with him. After all, I am actively involved in the “business” of prayer, and I knew that I needed some clarification of what our State policy is concerning prayer at the Capitol.  This past week, I spoke with Secretary of State Maxfield, and once again I found a warmness and honesty that I find very refreshing. He was very encouraging when I told him that I pray regularly for our elected officials and our legislators by name.

“My Christian heritage teaches me that I should be “quick to listen and slow to speak…” (James 1:19) I am also taught that I should pray “first of all…, for…all those in authority…” (1 Timothy 2:1) As the NDP WY coordinator I have taken this to heart.

“If you are wondering what is really happening at our Statehouse, I would encourage you to visit and to ask. If you are a person of faith, I encourage you pray for our leaders. They have a tough job trying to represent all the people of Wyoming. I believe that they took on the difficult demands of running for public office because they desire to serve the best interests of our State. I have found open doors at our Statehouse and have felt free to communicate with our leaders and the many fine employees of our State. If you have concerns, I would encourage you to call our elected officials and to respectfully ask your questions. I think that you will find, as I have, that there is indeed hospitality at our Statehouse!”

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