Ballymoney councillor Darryl Wilson was just one of the people involved in Sunday’s prayer vigil for Dervock man Ray Laverty.
The councillor, who is also Deputy Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, lead the prayers at the packed vigil at Dervock Orange Hall.
Cllr Wilson shared his thoughts about the day: “Last week it was suggested that a prayer vigil be held for Ray Laverty, as we know Ray is still very poorly and in hospital. The idea was that a few local people could gather to pray. I was asked if I would come and lead the vigil.
“When I was preparing a few words I had a picture in my head of a small number of people gathering to uphold Ray’s name in prayer and to ask for his healing.
“I don’t think I’ll ever forget coming into the village that day and seeing literally hundreds of people there. I’m sure nearly the entire village (and some from further afield ) came together to unite in prayer.
“We started off by praying in a packed Orange Hall, but it soon became apparent that there were hundreds of people outside that couldn’t hear. It was suggested by Peter Thompson that we come outside and stand on the steps so that everyone could hear. At this point we prayed together, hymns were played by Dervock Young Defenders, a village and a community came together in a poignant display of unity with a common goal, to see Ray returned home safe and well.”
Cllr Wilson shared the prayer which was read out on the day: “During his earthly ministry, the Lord Jesus Christ said many healing prayers, miraculously causing the ill and injured to recover. Today he is alive and continues to heal. We are here today to specifically pray that Ray knows God’s touch. We will uplift him to the Great Physician, the Lord Jesus Christ with our prayers.
“Lord we gather here today to bring Ray Laverty before you. You tell us in the holy scriptures that where two or three gather in your name that you are in the midst, we thank you Lord for this promise. Lord we give thanks that we can gather here freely without fear of persecution, we thank you lord for Jesus Christ and the cross, we thank you for the shed blood which washes clean as snow.
“Lord you are the One we turn to for help in our moments of weakness and our times of need. We ask you to be with your servant Ray in this illness. Psalm 107 says that you send out your Word to heal. So then, please send your healing Word Lord to your servant. In the name of Jesus, drive out all infirmity and sickness from his body.
Dear Lord, I ask you to turn this weakness into strength, suffering into compassion, sorrow into joy, and pain into comfort . May your servant trust in your goodness and hope in your faithfulness, even in the middle of this suffering.
“Please restore Ray to full health, dear Father. Remove all fear and doubt from his heart by the power of your Holy Spirit, and may you, Lord, be glorified through his life.
“As you heal and renew your servant, Lord, may he bless and praise you. We also ask Lord that you draw near to Ray’s family, bring them comfort, strength and protection at this difficult time. All of this I pray in the name of Jesus Christ our lord and saviour. Amen.”