National Day of Prayer Thursday

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2012

This year's National Day of Prayer begins Thursday at 6:30 a.m. at Tom Byrne Park.

A very special group will convene Thursday morning and evening at Tom Byrne park in order to achieve some very special goals, including prayer for President Barack Obama and a collective reading aloud of the entire Bible in only thirty minutes.

This year’s National Day of Prayer event will begin Thursday at 6:30 a.m. and will continue until 8:30 a.m. Following a break, services will reconvene at 5:30 p.m. with the finale beginning at 6:30 p.m. as 188 residents read various chapter of the Bible aloud, completing the Christian holy book in only thirty minutes.

National Day of Prayer coordinator Sharon Keesler said she is looking forward to this year’s event and would like to encourage the entire community to come and be a part of the services, which focus on prayer for seven “centers of power.”

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“We come together to pray for our community and for our nation,” Keesler said. “There are seven centers of power we will focus on and they are government, military, families, churches, media, education and business. We will focus on praying on those seven things.”
Keesler said the morning service will include several pastors and will be a time people may stop by for prayer with someone else who cares for them and their concerns.

“If people want to just come by to have someone pray over a concern they have, there will be several people there just for that purpose,” she said.

Also available will be a prayer walk consisting of a stroll around Tom Byrne’s walking trail, where the names of individuals, ranging from locals to members of the federal government, will have been written on the sidewalks by members of the Grace Fellowship youth group.
The National Day of Prayer will continue Thursday evening as the event picks back up at 5:30 p.m. Keesler said this year’s evening event will feature several additions, including group prayers and a children’s service.

“This year we are going to have a breakout time for about 15 to 20 minutes where people can choose groups to go to pray in,” she said. “We also have a children’s program that is new. That was totally a miracle. I’ve wanted to do this for several years and had to dump the idea. It was two days before we needed to have it and someone suggested Tammy Drew to help. I went to her and I knew this is the girl.”

Keesler said the children’s program will consist of prayer tailored for children from kindergarten age to sixth grade and will conclude with the children attaching written prayer to balloons, which will then be released.

At 6:30 p.m. this year’s event will conclude with the simultaneous reading of the Bible.

Keesler said she is appreciative for everyone who has helped with this year’s National Day of Prayer and is hoping for a large turnout.

“God says his word won’t go out without having some affect,” she said. “So that’s our purpose for doing that.”

In the event of bad weather, the National Day of Prayer will be held inside the gymnasium at Escambia County High School.