National Day of Prayer events scheduled for Thursday
In a time of conflict and stress, people can find comfort through the power of prayer.
The public is invited to harness this power in the hope of strengthening the community.
County faith leaders will gather people Thursday at several events for the National Day of Prayer. Participants are invited to pray for local, state and national governments, as well as other groups in our community, such as the military, healthcare workers, first responders, schools, businesses, families and the churches.
In Greenwood, people can go out at 7 a.m. for prayer and fellowship at Greenwood City Center. Another event will take place at noon on the lawn of the Johnson County Courthouse.
“It reminds us how much larger the church is than any particular local congregation. We have the same father, so we can call on him together,” said Daniel Jepsen, a pastor at Franklin Community Church and one of the event organizers. “There’s great power in that.”
The National Day of Prayer, which was established in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The law was amended unanimously in 1988, designating the first Thursday in May as the day of national prayer.
People across the country will celebrate around the central idea of loving their neighbors, as pastors have gathered in recent years to pray together. The event is an opportunity to bring people of all faiths together for good, Jepsen said.
“It reminds us that we’re here to light a candle and not to curse the darkness,” Jepsen said. “There are a lot of people, sometimes religious figures, who just speak out and demonize the other side of issues that they think are wrong. But there are different ways of doing things, and that is by asking God to bring his righteousness to the world.
With two different celebrations scheduled for this year, people have greater flexibility to participate when it best suits their schedule.
The Greenwood event will be a 30-minute program in the downtown parking lot, located at the corner of Main St. and Madison Ave. in Old Town Greenwood. Speakers from several area churches will lead the group in prayer as well as a chance for individual or small group prayers.
The Franklin rally will feature a similar setup, with some opening remarks, group prayers for local leaders, schools and other community institutions.
People will have the chance to pray together in more intimate groups.
“Primarily, it will be direct prayer for local leaders and officials,” Jepsen said.