Several members of the community will come together on Loop 286, surrounding Paris, on Sept. 13, and pray inward and outward for healing and restoration. Members taking part in the community-wide prayer service will pray to “seek God’s face for healing and restoration, help, forgiveness and more.”
Event organizer Rhonda Reed said people will line up and pray in designated, half-mile to one-mile sections – depending on the number of participants.
“We likely will not have enough to literally connect or even be at arms’ length, but God gave me the vision of completely surrounding this city with believers,” Reed said. “God says where two or more are gathered, there He will be also.”
Reed said as it’s the first year for Encompass, discussions have already been made to turn it into an annual event, or possibly more often.
“For the last several months it has weighed heavy on my heart that the church – me included – has been quiet and not visible during this time of crisis and hurting in our world,” Reed said. “With COVID, protests, hatred, etc. Lots of folks are visible and hurt, and hatred and etc. is visible and heard, but not the church. We are called as believers to be a light in this world and help to those that are hurting.”
Reed said she talked with her adult Sunday school class a few months ago and had all agreed to do something.
“We needed to let our light shine and let the community know that there is help and hope during such troubling times,” Reed said.
With more than 25 churches taking part so far, Reed said it’s unclear how many people are expected to join. However, she said, anyone and any denomination is welcome to join in on the community-wide prayer.
“I would love to see – and I think God would love to see – all churches come together as a body of believers to join in prayer and seek his face for our community and country,” Reed said. “That is why our foundation scripture is 2 Chronicles 7:14.
“Our land needs healing. Our communities need healing. Not just from COVID, but from fear, stress, loss, hurt, addiction, etc.,” she continued.
The organization will meet at the Love Civic Center parking lot, 2025 S. Collegiate Dr., at about 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2020, to account for participating groups. Reed said some participants will have Christian flags and/or crosses, and bottled water will be provided.
Starting at 4 p.m., after people have been placed in their designated spots around Loop 286, the prayer inward will begin for 15 minutes. Then the group will pray for another 15 minutes outward, facing the rest of Lamar County. At about 4:30 p.m., the group plans to meet back at the Love Civic Center’s pavilion for joint-community worship.
“If it is for one person driving around the loop that sees us and it reminds them God is our refuge and our source of hope, and they too can call on Him and seek Him for help and salvation,” Reed said, “then just that one will make it all worth it.”
For more information, contact Reed at 903-272-0716 or JW Davidson at 903-227-7620, and to sign up to participate in worship, contact Kreagan Scott at 903-669-8288.
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