Local youth to help mark Day of Prayer
Local youth to help mark Day of Prayer BY DAVID O'CONNOR, Staff Writer
In early May the last several years, organizers of Lancaster's National Day of Prayer have held two gatherings for local young people.
One was for students from the suburban and rural areas of Lancaster County, and one was for students from the city.
But organizers "are trying something new this year," as one says, and are combining the two events.
The combined prayer rally will be held at Binns Park, 100 N. Queen St., at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
The Binns Park gathering is part of several National Day of Prayer events here Wednesday and Thursday, which will conclude with the annual "Celebration of Prayer" rally Thursday from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Lancaster Bible College, 901 Eden Road.
Greg Laurie, the well-known pastor, speaker and author, will be keynote speaker for Thursday's gathering, which traditionally draws thousands of people.
The theme for the 2013 prayer day is from Matthew 12:21: "In His name the nations will put their hope."
For Wednesday's youth event, organizers aim "to get the county kids into the city and to rub shoulders with the city youth, who are really rolling up their sleeves and making a difference in their community," says Beth Bostwick, a National Day of Prayer official.
Plus, "Our suburban youth think its pretty cool to come downtown now that First Friday is so awesome" in the city, she says.
A pre-event concert begins at 6 p.m., with worship and prayer starting at 7 p.m.
"We will worship and pray together. I'm looking forward to what God has planned for us in Lancaster," says an organizer of the rally, Jose Jimenez, Lancaster field director for the Teen Haven ministry.
Also Wednesday, a prayer celebration will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in the community center at Brookshire Age-Qualified Community, 508 Brookshire Ave.
The event will start with music, followed by prayers from area pastors. Prayers will focus on "our nation and other themes such as the family, police, firefighters and schools," organizer Anthony Tomei says.
Thursday evening's main rally at LBC will wrap up a full day of events.
Prayer is "a wonderful privilege … we can pray any time, anywhere," says keynote speaker Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif. and Harvest Orange County in Irvine, Calif.
Under Laurie, Harvest has grown from a small group to become one of the largest churches in the U.S.
Laurie also is known for his large public evangelistic events, called Harvest Crusades, which have drawn more than 4 million people in the last 20 years.
He also is the author of more than 70 books, including "The Upside-Down Church," and hosts a nationally syndicated radio program, "A New Beginning," which is broadcast on more than 500 outlets around the world.
Earlier Thursday, there will be student-organized prayer starting at 7 a.m. at school flagpoles across the county, all-day prayer and worship at LBC from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a series of community prayer gatherings (visit www.lancasterndp.com for locations) and a motorcycle ride across the county.
The evening prayer celebration also will include a 100-voice choir from county churches. Food vendors will be available from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.
An offering will be taken at Thursday evening's event, and visitors are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs.
For details on Day of Prayer events, visit www.lancasterndp.com.
nYoungsters from around county will gather at Binns Park to take part in annual national event.