Crossroads Community Church and Clark County Prayer Connect organize prayer across the county virtually
CLARK COUNTY — On average, Google receives close to four billion searches every day. Lately, things like “coronavirus,’’ “CNN’’ and “stimulus check’’ have topped the list. There is another rapidly increasing search, however, that may be unexpected: “prayer.’’
‘‘Prayer’’ has been searched more in the last two months than any other time in the history of Google searches.
Coincidentally, The National Day of Prayer falls on the first Thursday in May every year, and it’s coming up tomorrow (May 7). Originally made into a U.S. law in the 1950s, the day of prayer was officially instituted as a recurring national calendar event in the 1980’s by President Ronald Reagan.
This year, with the COVID-19 pandemic still causing disruption in the lives of millions of Americans, the theme of the day will be, “Praying God’s glory across the earth,” and that includes Clark County.
“When people experience the shalom, the peace of God, that sense of wholeness and fullness, peace is far more than just, ‘I’m not fighting with anybody.’ It’s that sense of wholeness and fullness and flourishing and richness that God has given to us,” said Clark County Prayer Connect (CCPC) leadership team member Dennis Fuqua. “That’s my primary prayer for Clark County is that people would walk in the shalom of God.”
CCPC, along with Crossroads Community Church in Vancouver, will be hosting a livestream tomorrow which will include pastors from all over Clark County. During the broadcast, which can be found on the church’s website, Facebook and YouTube, those in it will be leading the county in prayer for unity, peace and those affected by COVID-19.
Nationally, an online broadcast of leaders and pastors from across the U.S. will be gathering virtually and praying into similar topics. The national broadcast, which can be found on The National Day of Prayer website and on certain radio stations, will include Michael W. Smith, Rick Warren, Will Graham the grandson of Billy Graham, Andrew Palau son of Luis Palau, and several more.
“National Day of Prayer is going to be different,” said CCPC leadership team member Jan Stahl. “People in the past have looked into The National Day of Prayer, and the numbers have gone up and up and up every year for the past like four years. It’s been pretty amazing to watch, and their expectation is that it won’t be less, but because it’s virtual and available to everyone in real time that they expect the numbers to go up.”
Stahl likened the COVID-19 correlation many have drawn with prayer searches and the crisis to 9/11. Over the years, she has gone many times with groups from Vancouver to Washington D.C. to pray for the nation. She explained that prior to 9/11, many people would gawk at her efforts to use the “p’’ word in the capital.
After the disaster, and the invocation of President Bush to pray for America, Stahl said she witnessed a near overnight switch in people’s attitude towards seeking heavenly help. Prayer became something normal, she said.
The prayer call for Clark County will take place at 9 a.m. Thursday and will be co-hosted by CCPC and Crossroads. Daniel Fusco, pastor of Crossroads will be on the call along with pastors from New Heights Church, Summit View Church, and Pastor Bob MacGregor of City Harvest Church.
“Part of my desire is that … God’s glory would be more manifest in the earth, and specifically here in Clark County,” Fuqua said. “What I mean when I say the word glory is impression, impressiveness, that God is impressive. I think the most impressive thing that can happen right now in Clark County and in our state in our world, is God’s peace.”
The national broadcast will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Pacific time, and will be available in a variety of places. The best place to find which one works best for you will likely be the main National Day of Prayer website.
Beyond the virtual gatherings of many churches and the live broadcasts that will be all over the country, Fuqua pointed to another factor that he believes is equally if not more important.
“This is a national day of prayer,” he said. “It’s not the national hour of prayer, it’s not the national lunch of prayer or meeting of prayer, it’s the national day of prayer. So even if people don’t know of a specific gathering, that doesn’t mean that they can’t participate.”
Fuqua encouraged everyone to find a way to pray. Get on a Zoom call with friends and pray, or meet socially distanced with neighbors in a cul de sac, he said.