Albany joins Day of Prayer - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany joins Day of Prayer

May 1, 2003

Albany- East to west and north to south, people prayed all across the nation. Including here in southwest Georgia.

A crowd gathered at the government center in Albany for the National Day of Prayer Service.

This year's theme across the nation was to focus on those who work with the law, like lawyers, judges and police officers. Attorney's read special prayers for schools, businesses, churches, families and the nation. Superior Court Judge Willie Lockette was the keynote speaker. He says, "I think it's wonderful, in fact this celebration coincides with law day. To have so many lawyers and people in the legal community involved in this celebration makes it doubly good for me."

Next year's national theme will be education. This year is the 12th annual planned National Day of Prayer service in Albany. The service is organized by ALDON, Albany Dougherty National Prayer Committee.

For the first time ever in Albany, men, women and children linked hands for a prayer chain. The line of people was created to enhance the National Day of Prayer.

Coordinator, Sheri Smith, says to participants, "Come on up, hey how are ya'll?" Smith is bringing south Georgians together on a spiritual level. She says, "I guess a vision came about mid January to try to bring some unity to this town, that's what we're here for to connect east and west Albany across the bridges."

Literally. All types of denominations stretched hand to hand across the Oglethorpe Bridge. Participant, Kevin Barkley, says, "We want to do it as family and friends together."

Mr. Barkley and his wife, Dena, along with their kids and friends are headed to their prayer spot. He says, "I think it's important to make sure we teach our kids to be a part of the community, pray for our families and others as well."

The prayer line creates a connection with strangers, all praying for the same thing, unity. Mr. Barkley says to a person standing next to him, "What is your name, Mary Johnson? I know you from way back." Then he adds, "Yeah, we are strangers, maybe in the community, but we're all linked together through Jesus Christ."

A prayer journal was passed down the prayer chain, as soon as it got to the next person, hands were united.

Prayer line coordinators were excited about the turn out, but may schedule next year's event on a weekend.

posted at 6:05PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com