Q: Where will you be on 9/11 this year?
A: I’ll be with others at a countywide prayer gathering in downtown Perry on the lawn of the old courthouse in the town square.
Q: Who’s organizing the gathering?
A: I’m coordinating it as part of a grassroots group of us from many churches and denominations who feel the need to get together and pray for our country, especially as we mark another anniversary of 9/11.
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Q: Is it just local or part of a national effort?
A: Our gathering is put together by local people but it is part of a bigger, national movement. It’s a continuation of the Cry Out America prayer initiative that began after terrorists attacked our nation on 9/11 in 2001. You know, at that time people across the country gathered in unity to pray for our nation and all our people, no matter who they were, for their safety and well-being and for God to be gracious to us and touch the hearts and lives of all Americans.
Q: Is there a particular theme this year?
A: Our theme again returns to crying out to God for the protection and security or our nation and our people, and our theme is simply that. We’re encouraging people to meet with friends or pray outside their schools, at their church or even to stop and pray individually, depending on their situation. Whether they pray for three minutes or 30 or more, we just hope people will join in this focused time of prayer.
Q: But you are having the public meeting together in Perry?
A: Yes, from noon to 1 p.m. at the old courthouse lawn at 800 Carroll St. In case of inclement weather we’ll meet nearby in the sanctuary of Perry First Baptist Church at 1105 Main St. We encourage people to bring their lawn chairs. Families are welcome, too.
Q: You mentioned some people might meet in their churches that day. Are there special services planned for that week?
A: We are asking that congregations and pastors make a time for special prayer for our nation and its security and protection during their regular services on Sept. 9, the Sunday before our regular gathering the following Tuesday.
Q: Is this event connected to the annual National Day of Prayer held each May?
A: It’s a separate event and effort, but through the years it has come under the wing of the National Day of Prayer organizers
Q: Do you have a means of contact for further information?
A: We do have it set up as an event on Facebook. You can look for Houston County Prayer Gathering to Pray for America. You can call me at 478-478-929-5795, too.
Q: What will the event be like?
A: We will mainly be praying together and we’ll keep it right at an hour. Local Junior ROTC students will post the colors and an important part will be recognizing and praying for those representing our county’s first responders from all the emergency and law enforcement agencies and groups. Then local pastors and leaders and lay people will lead us in prayer. I believe God hears us when we pray and there’s great power in our praying together. We just want people to come, lay down any differences and seek God in a unified way in the bonds of love.
Answers may have been edited for length and clarity. Compiled by Michael W. Pannell. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.