Traditionally, Sundays and Wednesdays are busy days in church. However, last week, hundreds of Rockdale County residents gathered on Thursday, as they participated in the 58th National Day of Prayer.
This year’s theme was "Prayer…America’s Hope." Several congregations invited residents to come together to pray for our nation. Among them were Heritage Hills Baptist Church, Rockdale Evangelical Methodist Church and Conyers First United Methodist Church.
Marie Hall, prayer ministry leader at Heritage Hills, noted that more than 80 people came and prayed throughout the day. In addition, many members met in small groups in their homes to lift up prayers. Later, on Thursday night, Jim Dunaway and Scott Fraser led a prayer and praise service. The presentation included the Day of Prayer video. Then, guest speaker the Rev. Tony Elder, pastor of Rockdale Evangelical Methodist provided a message. Following the sermon, everyone was invited to sing the national anthem and pray for specific areas identified by the National Day of Prayer Task Force. These seven areas were our community’s churches, families, government, education, military, media and businesses. .
W.D. Goldsmith, a member of Heritage Hills, commented, "Awesome time – (it) challenged me and my prayer time to be more involved in areas that I seldom think about. Thank you for facilitating."
On the other side of town, Conyers First United Methodist opened their doors, at 7 a.m. Reverend Jim Hoggs, pastor of The Father’s House, orchestrated the first two hours of the day. Over 25 pastors came together to pray out loud for our citizens’ needs: unemployment, homelessness and poverty.
The church’s prayer committee set up stations around the sanctuary so that guests could quietly reflect and pray. Over 100 people participated in the event at Conyers First United Methodist.
"It was beautiful. We witnessed the spirit of Christ as people came together as one. It was a true community. The focus was on God, rather than individual denominations, " noted Nancy Parkinson, coordinator for the event.
At noon, Rockdale County citizens might have noticed a little extra air traffic. While people were busy thinking about lunch, four prayer warriors climbed aboard Mike Patellis’ helicopter. The craft hovered over the state capitol as the crew prayed for everyone in Georgia. They were joined by 49 simultaneous flights across the United States, as part of the "50 Capitols’ Project. In its second year, prayerflight.org covered our nation in prayer.
Future plans can be found as www.prayerflight.org and www.nationaldayofprayer.org