PRAY WITHOUT CEASING: Prayer walk calls for healing
On the same day thousands gathered on the Mall in Washington for Franklin Graham’s Washington Prayer March 2020, more than 100 people gathered at the corner of Washington and Main streets in Winchester for a local prayer march.
Led by Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner and ministers from several local churches, the crowd prayed, then walked down Main Street to Lexington Avenue, and returned by Highland. Some carried signs or wore T-shirts with messages such as “Be the church.”
“It’s God’s people coming together, just asking the Lord to be gracious to us and bless us and change what needs o be changed in us and in our city and our nation,” Pastor Jeff Gaines of Christ Church on Ironworks Road, said. “We’re all here because we believe prayer works. It’s powerful. It changes things.”
Rhonda Gould, a member of Calvary Christian Church, organized the march, which was advertised on the Facebook page of the Winchester-Clark County Association of Churches. Its theme was the Apostle Paul’s directive in his first letter to Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing.”
“This world is suffering right now,” Gould said, so the group wanted to pray for community leaders, the government, ministers and an end to racial division, she said.
Winchester Police blocked off Main Street from Washington Street to Lexington Avenue.
Burtner led off with the first prayer. He thanked God for “the opportunity to live as a free people in a free land” and asked forgiveness for wrongs.
“We pray for our nation, we pray for our state and community. We pray for healing. We pray that you bring us together,” the mayor said. He prayed that they would be a people who followed the model of Ephesians 4:5, of one Lord, one faith, one baptism.
The message of was similar to that of the annual Washington Prayer March, which was for healing for a nation participants believe to be in the midst of a spiritual crisis.