The 71st Annual National Day of Prayer was held in the First Baptist Church on Thursday, despite the event being moved from a different location.
Due to imminent rain, the celebration was shifted from the lawn of the Daviess County Courthouse to the sanctuary of the First Baptist Church.
The ceremony was also aired live on the Facebook page of the local National Day of Prayer organization.
I believe it is the most significant day of the year, said committee member Jo Barron. The National Day of Prayer is a government-sanctioned opportunity for anybody to pray to whoever and however they choose.
Barron stated that the average attendance for the local event ranges between 300 and 350, and can sometimes reach 400.
Jonathan Chapman, pastor of students at First Baptist Church, was greeting attendees as they entered the event while holding the door open.
“For us, if you know Jesus, prayer is not merely a crutch to rest on, but rather an expression of faith in what God is doing,” Chapman added. “Now is the time for the community to put aside church building borders, and… we simply want to unite around what God is doing, because we recognize that He is our only hope. Christ is the answer to everything that may appear to be amiss on the journey, to the brokenness and the uncertainty; we know that Christ is the answer, and that is the purpose of this event.”
The two-part event began with the Circle of Good News Bible reading at 11:30 a.m., during which participants read aloud given Bible verses for 20 minutes, with the objective of reading the entire Bible in that time frame.
“What we’re doing is reading God’s Word, his love letter to us, and then we’re reading it back to Him,” Barron explained.
Those seeing the live stream of the event on the Facebook page might participate by sending a message to a designated phone number or by texting it.
It was made possible for Owensboro Health Regional Hospital staff to participate in the Bible reading during their lunch break.
Chapman stated of the event, “I believe it represents a picture, or at least a snapshot, of a portion of our community, and the significance of it.” People attend events that are significant to them.
Scott Reader, who has helped the committee over the years by putting up yard signs, and his wife Carol Reader participate in the event because it unites people of different religions and beliefs and emphasizes the importance of prayer.
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