Leavenworth City Commissioner Jermaine Wilson delivers the keynote speech for the National Day of Prayer virtual gathering broadcast live on Facebook May 7 from the Frontier Chapel sanctuary. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Katie Peterson | Staff Writer

Love, faith over fear and prayer was the message Leavenworth City Commissioner Jermaine Wilson shared with viewers of the Fort Leavenworth National Day of Prayer May 7 as the event was broadcast live from Frontier Chapel on the Fort Leavenworth Protestant Chapel Facebook page.

Wilson said during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important to remember that God is in control.

“We’re going through this pandemic, we’re going through these trying times, and we’re crying out to God. We’re asking God to help us,” Wilson said. “God has our undivided attention, and, now that he has our attention, God is taking something out of us. It may be hate, it may be greed, it may pride, but the God that we serve, he’s not going to leave us empty.

“God is going to replenish us,” he said. “Because he’s taken something out of us, he’s going to fill us up with something.”

The first thing God fills someone up with is love, Wilson said.

Chaplain (Col.) Michael McDonald, Garrison chaplain, explains the National Day of Prayer and offers words of wisdom and encouragement during the virtual observance, broadcast live on Facebook May 7 from the Frontier Chapel sanctuary. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

“God is love. We say that we love God, but how can we love God if we hate our neighbor? Love is what’s going to keep us united,” Wilson said. “Love is going to be able to help us to stand strong when times get hard and rough, and we feel like quitting.

“There is too much division that’s taking place in our nation. God is telling us to remove the hate, remove the racism, remove the violence,” he said. “Love conquers all, and, if we love each other, we will be able to see each one of us through the eyes of Christ because God doesn’t see what a person may look like. God sees the heart of a person.”

The second thing is to rid oneself of fear, Wilson said.

“We cannot operate in fear because God is not giving us the spirit of fear, but he has given us the spirit of power, love, and of sound mind,” Wilson said. “Fear will cause you to hate. Fear will cause us to be divided. Fear will cause us to give up and throw in the towel.

“We must have faith. Faith over fear. For God tells us without faith, it is impossible to please him,” he said. “With the faith that we have combined together, we can remove this pandemic. This virus is not greater than us; God is much greater than this virus and, as long as we keep our faith in God, this too shall pass.”

The third thing is to pray without ceasing, Wilson said.

“God hears our prayers.

God wants us to be able to stand strong. God wants us to be able to pray whenever we feel weak,” Wilson said. “We have to depend on God’s system and not the world’s system. We cannot expect to do worldly things and expect godly results. Prayer is what we need. Prayer is why we’re here today.

Kayla Atkins, worship leader for the contemporary service, performs “God of This City” during the National Day of Prayer virtual gathering May 7 at Frontier Chapel. Atkins also sang the national anthem and “God Bless the USA” for the observance. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

“Pray for those ones that are homeless, that are hurting, that are broken, because somebody prayed for us when we didn’t even know it,” he said. “Somebody loved us when we didn’t even love ourselves.”

Wilson said he had his own experience of God grabbing his attention and filling him up with these attributes when he was incarcerated for seven years.

“I felt like giving up, I felt like quitting, I felt hopeless. God allowed me to be broken down and stripped away from everything that I had, so he could get my attention. … I prayed. I said, ‘Lord forgive me for the sins that I’ve committed,’” Wilson said. “Because he forgave me, he taught me how to love myself. Because he taught me how to love myself, I’m able to love others. … Because I learned how to love others, God built me up and helped me to be able to understand the purpose of serving.

“I had to humble myself and as I was going through this time in prison, I didn’t realize it, but God was taking all of this stuff out of me, and he was building me up,” he said. “Because I held onto the promise of God and I kept faith, God opened up those prison doors and blessed me with my family that I had once lost because I was loving people and being faithful to God and was continuously serving my community.”

Wilson said his experiences were for a reason, but were also only for a season, just like the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we’re all going through this season together, let us stand and be unified. Let us love unconditionally. Let us pray for one another, and let us not be afraid,” Wilson said. “Are you going to allow this to break you or build you?”

Along with Wilson’s remarks, the event included music selections; prayers for the nation, the COVID19 pandemic and the military; and scripture readings. Visit the Fort Leavenworth Protestant Chapel Facebook page for the entire event.

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