John Kelleher Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
The annual Day of Prayer ceremony in downtown Havre started with good food, prayer, folk hymns and patriotic songs. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 447's honor guard led the Pledge of Allegiance. There were light-hearted comments about "the winds of prayer," coming in, as wind blew through downtown Havre. But when State Rep. Wendy Warburton, R-Havre, took to the microphone, the crowd of about 70, sat in rapt attention during her emotional speech. Warburton told the story of her nephew, Holden, the 3-year-old who has boundless energy and tires out the family because "he has one speed full speed." She passed around color pictures of Holden for the crowd to look at. The fact that Holden is alive is testimony to the power of prayer, she said. He was born four month premature. Warburton said her sister's blood pressure was so high that if she had not undergone the Caesarian section, both mother and child would have died. Holden weighed less than a pound at birth and three times in his first four months of life he underwent infant CPR to save his life. Then, her voice cracking with emotion, Warburton said, her mother found a prayer in the Book of Psalms that seemed especially fitting. She read it to the crowd. "How many people would have advised my sister to abort Holden because the pregnancy was endangering her life?" Warburton asked, holding back the tears. She asked the crowd to pray for Montana and the nation. Montana is a state of unequalled beauty, she said. Yet, in the state Legislature this year, pro-life legislation was repeatedly defeated. Efforts to require parental notification, to protect the rights of pro-life protesters and to allow authorities to bring criminal charges against people who kill the fetuses of pregnant women were all turned aside by the Legislature, which seriously considered legislation to grant civil rights to gay couples, despite referendum results to the contrary, she said At the national level, she said, pro-abortion cabinet members have been appointed and the administration has approved new regulations that allow funding for experimental fetal stem-cell research. The Bible warns against debt, she said, yet this year the national deficit will be higher than ever. She then asked the audience members to bow their heads and pray as she asked God to help the young, the unborn, Montana and the nation.