National Day of Prayer
By LORETTA FULTON
National Day of Prayer services will look a little more normal this year than a year ago when COVID-19 had a firm grip on all public gatherings.
This year’s observances, locally and nationally, will be on Thursday, May 6. 1-Kingdom will sponsor a live event at noon in downtown Abilene, and the Abilene Interfaith Council will host an online event.
1-Kingdom , an organization of local pastors and civic leaders, will host an event beginning at noon in Everman Park.
“We will do three songs,” said Chuck Farina, pastor of New Hope Church, “then set out on a prayer walk throughout downtown with some basic prayer points to pray over our city.”
Last year, as a guard against spreading COVID, 1-Kingdom hosted an in-car service on the Abilene Police Department parking lot. Guests stayed in their vehicle and tuned in via radio station KGNZ FM 88.1.
The Abilene Interfaith Council will host an online service this year, with pre-recorded prayers representing various faith traditions. The virtual service will be available Thursday, May 6, at abileneinterfaith.org. Last year’s service was an online rerun of the 2016 service.
As in the past with in-person services, the interfaith virtual service will end with participants sharing challah bread to illustrate the group’s motto: “Breaking bread together in peace.”
“The symbolism will be virtual this year,” said AIC member Linda Goolsbee,” reflecting togetherness in spirit while apart.”
Following is detailed information about each service plus a history of the National Day of Prayer. Theme for this year’s National Day of Prayer Task Force observance is “Lord pour out your love, life and liberty.”
ABILENE INTERFAITH COUNCIL
Abilene Interfaith Council will celebrate its 17th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer on May 6. This year the service will be online, instead of the traditional live gathering.
The Service of Prayer and Peace will feature prerecorded prayers by members of a variety of faith traditions. The virtual service will be available May 6 for viewing at abileneinterfaith.org.
Introductions to the prayers will be by Dr. Omer Hancock, AIC president, and board member Pierce LoPachin, who conducted the interviews.
AIC Board Contacts:
Linda Goolsbee, firstname.lastname@example.org, 325-280-3423 cell
Omer Hancock, President, email@example.com
Pierce LoPachin, interviewer, firstname.lastname@example.org
The service will begin at noon at Everman Park in downtown Abilene. Three songs will be sung, followed by a prayer walk throughout downtown with some basic prayer points.
Before the prayer walk, three corporate prayers will be offered. These prayers will follow the theme of the National Day of Prayer committee, life, liberty & love:
1. Life – Scott Beard – Fountaingate Fellowship
2. Liberty – David Skinner – The River of Life Church
3. Love – Nathan Burrows – Hillcrest Church of Christ
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.
Loretta Fulton is creator and editor of Spirit of Abilene