With National Day of Prayer falling on Thursday, May 7 this year, Greenfield Area Ministerial Association (GAMA) President the Rev. Chris Stokes spoke with The Times-Gazette about how this year’s event will look following the COVID-19 outbreak.
Though GAMA’s annual National Day of Prayer event is typically held in the Greenfield City Building plaza, as of press time, Stokes said GAMA plans to stream the event on Facebook Live, though he added the location and whether or not members of the public can attend it in person may change.
“We’re mainly waiting to see if we’re going to be allowed to meet in groups larger than 10 people once the stay-at-home order lifts,” Stokes said. “Ultimately, it’s going to depend on what decisions are made by the governor and [Ohio Department of Health Director] Dr. Acton. If the City Building remains closed, that decision will be made for us.”
If GAMA can’t hold the event at the city building, Stokes said GAMA leadership will live-stream the service from the First Baptist Church.
Either way, Stokes said, the service will be live-streamed on Facebook on May 7. Further information will be posted on the “Greenfield Area Ministerial Association” Facebook page.
Regardless of its location, this year’s National Day of Prayer event will feature music selections by Jay Fabin and scripture readings. Prayer will focus on 11 different groups, including federal, state and local government officials as well as first responders and medical workers.
The theme for this year is “Praying God’s Glory Across the Earth” based on Habakkuk 2:14, which reads: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
“In the midst of everything going on, we really want to encourage families and individuals to take some time out of the day, however that looks, to set aside time to pray,” Stokes said. “We want to help people turn to the hope and the peace we can find through God in this time. I think it’s also a time to be reminded that no matter our political affiliations or how we feel about our leadership, we do need to pray for our leaders, whether in a time of crisis or in peace times. A lot of us get into the day-to-day life and may even have our own prayer concerns, and we may forget to pray for our president, our governor, our village officials. It’s just a good reminder that we need to be praying for all areas of life.”
The first call for a national day of prayer was issued in 1775 by the Continental Congress. Since then, each American president has issued a proclamation for an annual day of prayer.
The modern National Day of Prayer was established by Congress in 1988, during which the first Thursday in May was reserved for the observance.
According to the Rev. Joseph Cunningham, Greenfield has observed the National Day of Prayer for 41 years.
To stay up-to-date on plans for GAMA’s National Day of Prayer event, visit its Facebook page, “Greenfield Area Ministerial Association.”
Those with questions about the event may also call Stokes at 937-763-2790 or email [email protected] Correspondence may be sent to P.O. box 361, Greenfield, Ohio 45123.
A national broadcast in observance of the National Day of Prayer will take place on May 7 from 8-10 p.m. The broadcast will appear on GOD TV, Daystar, Moody Broadcasting and Facebook Live. For further information, visit www.NationalDayOfPrayer.org or call 1-800-444-8828.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.