A Day to Pray: Clergy, mayors designate Sunday as prayer, meditation day

by DEVIN WEEKS
Staff Writer | March 26, 2020 1:13 AM

Mayors, clergy target Sunday 3 p.m. prayer

Kootenai County residents are being called to join a day of prayer on Sunday.

But they’re going to have to do so from their homes.

“We can pray and we can seek God,” said Rep. Tim Remington, who is also pastor of the Altar Church.

“Maybe if we really pray hard, then we won’t have to shut down for so long,” he added.

Remington was contacted by Hayden Mayor Steve Griffitts about creating a way for people to unite in prayer regarding the coronavirus.

The Coeur d’Alene Ministerial Association brainstormed some ideas and decided since people couldn’t come together physically, they could virtually.

A video is being recorded with short prayers from area pastors. It will be shown at a new website, kcprays.com, and run throughout the day on Sunday.

“When the mayors are asking us to pray, we’re not going to turn them down,” said Paul Van Noy, pastor of Candlelight Christian Fellowship.

Griffitts released an announcement proclaiming Sunday as the City of Hayden Day of Prayer, Meditation and Service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It seems like prayer is something that can bring us together as a community and provide some direction,” he said Wednesday.

In part, the proclamation reads:

“As we continue to face the unique challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, millions of Americans are unable to gather in their regular places of worship. But in this time we must not cease asking God for added wisdom, comfort and strength, and we must especially pray for those who have suffered harm or who have lost love ones.”

Griffitts said the proclamation is for everyone of every faith — or non-faith.

“I am personally a Christian, but I want to include the entire community because I believe firmly when a community comes together, miracles happen, and I believe in miracles,” he said. “We need miracles, so we should pray for them, we should hope for them, we should do all that we can to make those miracles happen.”

Mayors of Coeur d’Alene, Post Falls and Rathdrum support Griffitts’ proclamation.

“I think it’s a great idea, especially in these times when there are so many people who are scared,” Post Falls Mayor Ron Jacobson said. “I wholeheartedly support his efforts on this.”

Coeur d’Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer said, “In this very difficult time we need to rely on family, friends, community and our faith.”

“This will get us through,” he said.

The video will run throughout Sunday, but the official time people are asked to come to the website and pray with the pastors is 3 p.m.

“We gladly wanted to serve our community, we wanted to serve our mayors, we wanted to serve you,” Van Noy said Wednesday as he recorded what will be the opening statements of the video, together with Remington, at Candlelight’s studio.

The video is expected to be 30 minutes to an hour long. Pastors and mayors will pray in the video.

Griffitts said this is a time for people to be responsible and accountable.

“If prayer is the only thing we can do together as a community, then let’s do it,” he said.

Regarding Gov. Brad Little’s stay-at-home order, which exempts only what are considered essential services, Van Noy said: “One of the things we believe is it is essential to seek the Lord.”

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Pastor Paul Van Noy, left, and Rep. Tim Remington, also a pastor, record the opening statements that will air in a video to be released for Sunday’s Day of Prayer in Kootenai County.

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BILL BULEY/Press Pastor Paul Van Noy, left, and Rep. Tim Remington, also a pastor, prepare to record the opening statements that will air in a video to be released for Sunday's Day of Prayer in Kootenai County.