SEYMOUR JOHNSON AIR FORCE BASE, N.C. --
The 4th Fighter Wing Chaplain Corps
hosted the 2016 National Prayer Luncheon, May 5, at Seymour Johnson Air Force
Base, North Carolina.
More than 100 Team Seymour members
attended the annual luncheon, which was held in honor of the National Day of
Prayer and highlight the importance of strengthening each Airman’s spiritual
“Spirituality is one of the Air
Force’s four pillars [of strength] and is a crucial piece of what we are as a
nation,” said Chaplain (Capt.) Douglas Dixon, 4th Fighter Wing chaplain. “We
all have a spiritual element to us. We need to focus and lean on that for
strength and hope for inspiration and to keep going forward.”
Dating back to 1775 when the
colonists prayed for the wisdom to form a nation, the National Day of Prayer
has been a part of United States history. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set
aside a day each year for “humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” President Dwight
D. Eisenhower finally declared the first Thursday of every May, National Day of
Prayer in 1953.
The event’s keynote speaker,
Stephen Scoggins, spoke about his own personal story of spiritual resilience.
He elaborated on his early struggles with family and a period of homelessness. His
life’s journey is also what he attributes as the driving force that led him to
prayer and a more successful life.
“The National Day of Prayer means
everything to me because without prayer, I wouldn’t be where I’m at,” Scoggins
said. “I wouldn’t have had the chance to lead people and help them grow. I
learned a long time ago that part of prayer is listening; when you listen
first, you hear more. You get clear direction. You get clear steps ahead. You
get that next step, that next piece of faith that comes with the prayer
Scoggins added how the event was a
great way to remind oneself that when all is lost, there is still hope;
sometimes the best place to be is on our knees with open arms and open hearts,
asking and listening for guidance.
“The National Day of Prayer is
important because it offers hope when people have none,” Scoggins said. “It
allows people who are broken to be built, relationships to be healed, and
allows their faith to be found.”