NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER SERVICE
By LORETTA FULTON
A local National Day of Prayer service will be held this year, despite the COVID-19 shutdown, but it will look a little different.
Instead of worshippers holding hands, hugging, singing and praying next to one another, participants will be asked to stay in their vehicle and listen on the radio. 1-Kingdom, an organization of local pastors and civic leaders, is hosting a drive-in service 12 to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 7, on the Abilene Police Department parking lot, site of the old K-Mart store on South First Street.
Guests are asked to remain in their vehicles and tune in to the servivce on Christian radio station KGNZ FM 88.1.
The Abilene Interfaith Council, which normally hosts a service at the Center for Contemporary Arts, wll not have a live service this year. However, a video of the 2016 service will be shown at noon on the council’s Facebook page.
Theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer is “Pray God’s Glory Across the Earth,” based on Habakkuk 2:14: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Chuck Farina, pastor of New Hope Church and a leader in 1-Kingdom, sent guidelines to the people who will be leading the prayers. Among them was a statement urging participants to avoid anything that might be divise.
“Our goal is to bring the body together in unity,” the guideline states. “Please avoid language or stylistic approaches that will be divisive in this setting. Be yourself, but use wisdom.”
The schedule follows:
12 p.m. Worship – Brady James & Stephanie Nigro
12:10 Welcome & Instruction — Chuck Farina, New Hope Church
12:13 Proclamation and Opening Prayer — Anthony Williams
12:18 Prayer: For Government Leaders, city & national — Rich Brown, Grace Point Church
12:21 Prayer: For the Eradication of Covid-19 Unite 7:14 — Cliff Stewart, First Central Presbyterian Church
12:25 Prayer: First Responders & Healthcare Workers — John Whitten, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church
12:28 Prayer: Those infected with or suffering loss because of COVID-19 — Steve Patterson, St. Paul United Methodist Church
12:32 Prayer: Our National & Local Economy — Jamie Pope, South Pointe Church
12:35 Prayer: For Families — Andrew Penns, Valley View Missionary Baptist Church
12:38 Prayer: For Churches & Pastors (wisdom as we reopen houses of worship) — Joel Navarro, Seventh Day Adventist Church
12:41 Prayer: For A Spiritual Awakening in America — Ian Nickerson, Minda Street Church of Christ
12:44 Prayer: Military — Mike Harkrider, Wylie Baptist Church
12:47 Closing Statements: Chuck Farina
12:50 Dismiss & Worship as we go!
1 p.m. Done
National Day of Prayer history
The National Day of Prayer is a vital part of our heritage. Since the first call to prayer in 1775, when the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation, the call to prayer has continued through our history, including President Lincoln’s proclamation of a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer” in 1863. In 1952, a joint resolution by Congress, signed by President Truman, declared an annual national day of prayer. In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May. Each year, the president signs a proclamation, encouraging all Americans to pray on this day. Last year, all 50 state governors plus the governors of several U.S. territories signed similar proclamations.