More than 20 events scheduled at various churches, public venues
By Rose L. Thayer
Killeen Daily Herald
Central Texas Christians plan to come together Thursday to participate in the National Day of Prayer.
"That's the key part," said Dave Archer, a missionary with the First United Methodist Church in Killeen. "Ideally, the entire community comes together and brings prayer for God. There's a lot to be said about prayer warriors coming together."
This is the 61st year for the national event, and area spiritual leaders began meeting in January to coordinate prayer schedules. The theme for this year is "One Nation Under God."
The chosen Bible verse for this year comes from Psalm 33:12, which reads, "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord."
"The purpose is for God to send a spiritual awakening to all of Central Texas and bring a revival to the Killeen-Fort Hood area," said Ken Wooten, team leader at Fort Hood Ministries. "It's also to unify the body of Christ together."
More than 20 events are scheduled throughout the day at various churches and public venues to cater to anyone's schedule, including a prayer and free lunch at Killeen City Hall. Many others also provide meals and fellowship opportunities.
To follow the theme of this year's nationally planned prayer, people are being asked to pray for the government, the church, the military and family, said Archer.
"On that day we really focus on all these number of aspects of what it means to be in the community," he said.
Raymond Hamilton, chairman deacon of the event for Pershing Park Baptist Church, said his church has been promoting the event all year.
"We need to pray for our leaders and this great nation," he said. "We also encourage people to do this on a daily basis."
This year, the Killeen task force is hoping to get more local youth to participate and have planned a youth-hosted event at Greater Vision Church.
"I hope that as we encourage the young ones to come out and pray with families, they understand the significance of it," said Hamilton. "God has performed all of these miracles for us, we must return it."
Copperas Cove also will be participating with an event at the city library.
"I just think that it is a good reminder of what our Founding Fathers wanted us to do," said Peggy Thompson, event coordinator. "To be alert that at least as a nation, all states should come together and pray for our nation at least one time a year. Hopefully God will hear us and we'll turn from our wicked ways."
The largest scheduled event is an evening prayer service at the Bell County Expo Center in Belton. This is the ninth year for the Central Texas Prayer Network to host it.
"The evening event is designed for all of Central Texas to praise God and seek him further," said Ruth Daniel, a coordinator with the network, at an April planning meeting.
She said they plan to have a group designated to pray for each state specifically.
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
While a privately funded task force coordinates national efforts to encourage Judeo-Christian participation in communities across the country, other religions are also welcome to participate and schedule events.
Contact Rose L. Thayer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7463. Follow her on Twitter at KDHreporter.