Town prays together at National Day of Prayer event
Members of the Prosper community, ministers from area churches, and the Prosper First Responders Chaplaincy team met Thursday, May 6 on the steps of Town Hall. This gathering was part of the National Day of Prayer Ceremony, organized by the Public Safety Chaplains. Approximately 115 people attended and/or participated in the event.
The event included several ministers from Prosper churches. The speakers began each prayer, then the small groups of participants finished the prayers together. Each small group had around 8 people gathered together, praying. The prayer topics were varied, including local, state, and national government issues, education, community, and freedom to gather and worship. The prayer event ended with the community singing together.
“National Day of Prayer is a national organization that different municipalities join in on the first Thursday in May,” Dr. John Herring, the main organizer, said. “We had a local influence on our celebration. The NDOP organization gives basic guidance on the portions of the event but nothing is required. We took some of that general guidance from NDOP but then fashioned our own “Prosper” version of it.”
Isaac Varela is the Lead Safety Chaplain for Prosper.
“We work hard to include as many members of the local church community as we can,” Varela said. We began the service with a pastor who prayed in Spanish and his wife translated into English for us. We also have a minister from a predominantly Black church come and participate. As chaplains, it is important for everyone to see their religion, spirituality and culture represented. We believe that God loves us all and wants us all to come as we are, and we want to celebrate those differences between us.”
“I find it so important to gather all of these faith leaders together so we can know them well,” Varela said. “We want to know that everyone is tied into the community so we can build relationships with them. We as a larger society are saying that we all should not talk about religion, but being able talk freely about our God and religion is so important. That is a priority here in Prosper. I am so thankful for that.”
Charles Cotton attended the National Day of Prayer event. “It is amazing to see all these believers come together,” Cotton said. “When we came together in small groups it became not a public presentation, but more personal. It was touching to gather together and pray with people who practice their faith differently than I do.”
“ I felt like I would invite someone to this just like I would invite someone to church,” Cotton said. “It was such an opportunity to pray and learn, and to become closer with your community. You never know when you attend these events, but I always seem to come out finding people with whom I share common interests and I feel closer with this community in Prosper.”
More information about the National Day of Prayer organization is available at https://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/