Day of Prayer set for Thursday

Published 5:48 pm Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Prayer warriors of all denominations and creeds will come together Thursday to pray for the United States, as Atmore celebrates the National Day of Prayer.

There are a number of prayer services scheduled throughout the day, and all of them are open to the public.

At 10 a.m., there will be a special ceremony at the veterans memorial and Atmore City Hall, to pray for government officials, the military, and first responders.

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There will be a prayer walk throughout the day, at both Houston Avery Park and Tom Byrne Park. The walking paths will be marked with the names of elected officials for whom to pray.

Later that evening, there will be a community prayer service at 5:30 p.m., at the Escambia County High School gymnasium.

There will also be a children’s prayer service from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., in the old ECHS gym. This service will be for children in kindergarten through sixth grade, who are accompanied by an adult.

Nancy Helton, a National Day of Prayer committee member, said the day’s prayer activities are aligned with the seven “centers of power” of the national celebration. Those seven centers of power are praying for family, churches, businesses, education, the media, the military and the government.

Helton said there will be a “breakout session” focusing on each of those seven tenets, and those sessions will be led by pastors and laypeople who have donated their time to the event.

“It’s a wonderful event,” she said. “It shows that we all have the same purpose and goal — to pray for our country, our communities and our families. It really shows the unity in our community, when you consider all the different denominations and faiths that come together.”

A visible sign of that unity will take place around 6:15 p.m., when there will be a communal Bible reading. Helton said about 350 people are expected to join together to read the entire Bible. It should take about 15 minutes, assuming enough readers attend.

Helton said many people have already been recruited for the Bible reading, but anyone else who still wishes to participate can pick up a Scripture passage to read at the gymnasium entrance.

The local organizing committee for the National Day of Prayer is composed of about 20 people from a variety of denominations. The chairperson is Sharon Keesler.