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Guido inspires crowd at National Day of Prayer service
050108 DAY OF PRAYER01
Glenn Haynes joins others in singing a spiritual during Thursday's National Day of Prayer Observance at the Bulloch County Courthouse. - photo by SCOTT BRYANT/staff
    Prayer is the key to happiness and success, Dr. Michael Guido said Thursday during a luncheon in celebration of the National Day of Prayer.
    After a gathering on the Bulloch County Courthouse lawn, Guido, an internationally recognized evangelist based in Metter, spoke to the group at RJ's Steaks and Seafood, explaining why prayer is the answer to life's problems.
    Linda Carlson, affiliated with Guido Gardens, the mission's headquarters, introduced the renowned spiritual leader.
    "He is internationally known and we're so blessed to have him here," she said, telling the crowd about Guido's lifelong mission to spread "Seeds from the Sower" on television, radio and newspapers worldwide.
    "He's the most precious ... amazing man God has ever put in my life," she said.
    Guido began his speech by telling where the phrase "knock on wood" came from, describing how the Druids believed their gods lived in trees, and would knock on the tree hoping the god would answer prayers.
    "Aren't you glad you don't pray to a god in a tree?" he asked, drawing laughter.
    In his unique speaking style, the 92-year-old said God wants us to pray to Him about everything.
    "Before the work, the worship. Before the serving, the supplication," he said. "You and I shouldn't begin anything without God, but begin everything with Him."
    He told the Biblical tale of Jonah and the whale, pointing out that Jonah found himself inside the whale because he ignored God's direction. "You always pay when you sin," he said. "Too many of our churches are like beds where sleeping Jonahs are resting.  Don't you see how important it is to heed God's word?"
    Prayers are answered, just not always how we want them to be answered, he said. Instead of praying for what you want, pray for God to provide what He know you need, he said.
    He told tales about how he and his wife Audrey have always received what they needed through prayer.
    "Prayer — this word is never used with anybody except with God," he said. "Only He can say, only He can comfort, only He can deliver from sin."
    An example he gave of prayer working was the request from a "highly ranked law enforcement officer" who sought help from Guido for a serious  drug addiction problem. Prayer helped the man battle the addiction, he said.
    Praying isn't only for asking, either, he said. It is important to pray and give thanks. "Thanksgiving is something many Christians fail."
    Every Christian should have a prayer list, he said. And expect answers.
    "We should pray with faith. So many of us don't," Guido said. "We hope God will answer, we think God will answer, but do we really believe He will answer?"
    Another anecdote he shared was that of a nonbeliever who spent several days at Guido Gardens, asking questions and trying to poke holes in Guido's faith.
    But when Guido answered a telephone call from a man he helped through prayer, and learned the man on the phone offered to pay for a piece of machinery the mission needed, the naysayer was impressed, he said. "He spent four days" at Guido Gardens, exploring the faith and "waiting to see whether prayers are answered daily — and they are," he said. "You can't beat God, can you?"
    Visitors at the luncheon were given pamphlets with information about prayer, and asking them to pray for government officials to "stand strong on the principles of our founding fathers" and "make wise decisions rather than succumbing to special interest groups."
    The information in the pamphlet also asked people to pray for the military, media, businesses, education, churches, and family.
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