National Day of Prayer event slated for May 5 in Millersburg

National Day of Prayer event slated for May 5 in Millersburg

Image Credit: Dave Mast

rayer can be a powerful thing.The hope of area pastors is that an upcoming event will open the door to not only a day of prayer, but also a lifetime of it.

On Thursday, May 5 at 6 p.m., the public is invited to gather outside of the Holmes County Courthouse to lift up a number of different areas of concern during National Day of Prayer, a national day of observance held every first Thursday of May.

The national theme for this year’s event is “Exalt the Lord, Who Has Established Us.”

A dozen area pastors will speak about different topics, then devote a time of prayer to each of those topics. There also will be plenty of praise and worship music led by Rocky Favia of Grace Church, John Bonistall of The Well and Chris Beauchamp of Gateway.

According to event coordinator Larry Hasemeyer, pastor at Gateway Community Church, regardless of whomever is residing in leading roles in the nation and no matter what side of the fence their political beliefs may fall, people are called to pray for those in leadership roles.

“These events have been powerful and meaningful over the past years, and we believe we as a community and a nation need to turn to prayer now more than ever,” Hasemeyer said. “The great thing about this event is that it is drawing the body of Christ together in the community. We believe that this is the season for us to join together and be the body of Christ and the church throughout the community. We all have differences, but what we have found out is that when we can meet, sing together, worship together and pray together, it is the most authentic form of worship we can have that unites us as one in Christ.”

With several of these types of events taking place the past couple of years, as well as the recent community-wide Easter Good Friday celebration at the Perry Reese, Jr. Community Center at Hiland High School, Hasemeyer said one occurrence that has spurred events such as this has been the collaborative effort of local pastors to meet together and put aside differences to focus on the power of prayer and unity.

“Everything was shut down, and we were all segregated, and we started meeting and grew closer together through the process,” Hasemeyer said of the pastoral meetings. “It started as a support group and has evolved into something special that provides us with a chance to talk, encourage, pray and support one another. In all my 38 years I’ve been pastoring, it is the first time I’ve seen anything like it at this authentic of a level.”

The pastoral meetings were born during the COVID era when area pastors felt a desire to connect via social media and then in person. That monthly gathering of pastors has continued, and Hasemeyer said those meeting have created a bond and a sense of unity that wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it now is.

The pastors now want to see that sense of unity expand into the community, and this event is designed to create a sense of unity and revival through prayer. Hasemeyer said the hope is the event will be uplifting and will edify the body of Christ.

“There’s a sense of free air about that is so encouraging,” Hasemeyer said of the National Day of Prayer. “It’s refreshing and energizing, and we aren’t identifying as individual churches but as children of God.”

Hasemeyer said those who have attended these community prayer events understand the power that flows from coming together in prayer, and anyone who hasn’t attended one will be blessed to gather in unity with the prayers focused on topics that reach beyond political walls and personal opinions.

“We need to be more unified than ever in the church,” Hasemeyer said. “We need to be of one heart, and our prayer is that there will be a great awakening in the church to pray. There is great power in prayer, and sometimes it feels as though we don’t fully realize the incredible power of prayer, especially when we bring the churches together to pray. It pleases God when we gather to celebrate and embrace him in that place of prayer, and it doesn’t have to be some great oration. It simply needs to come sincerely from the heart.”

Hasemeyer said the only way to truly live a life worthy of Christ is to live it daily in prayerful adoration. While this event is designed to spur intentional prayer for the specific topics presented on that day, the true purpose of National Day of Prayer is to spur believers to pray with purpose and a grateful attitude each and every day.

“It’s important that we carry this message of the importance of prayer from this day into our daily lives,” Hasemeyer said.

Should there be inclement weather, the event will be moved to Gateway Church, located just north of Millersburg on state Route 241.


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