Mass shootings add significance to National Day of Prayer

Published: May. 4, 2023 at 5:51 PM CDT|Updated: May. 4, 2023 at 6:13 PM CDT
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TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) - Mass shootings, murders, and gun violence. The crimes we often hear about added significance to the National Day Of Prayer across the country. The city of Tuscaloosa was no exception.

A small gathering assembled at Capitol Park to pray for America’s healing. People turned out hoping to channel some healing and love into their community, while hoping others could do the same across the country.

It was National Day of Prayer number 9 for Keith Hess of Tuscaloosa. Hess says he didn’t want to miss this for the world.

“This nation needs prayer very badly,” said Hess.

Hess’ sentiments came one day after the nation endured yet another horror story of a mass shooting. This time in Atlanta, Georgia; one dead, four injured on the 11th floor of a medical center. Authorities say the alleged gunman is in custody. More than 200 miles away in Tuscaloosa, prayers for love, mercy, and healing took place under a pavilion in the silence of Capitol Park.

“Lord, continue to reveal yourself to us,” said one program speaker,

The National Day of Prayer is a 72-year tradition, and Chuck Jay says was needed more than ever.

“As we get away from honoring God and honoring what he told to do in the Ten Commandments, this is what happens,” said Jay, a member of the National Day Of Prayer Task Force in Tuscaloosa.

Overall, there were 12 speakers. Some were pastors, others were not, but all prayed over different aspects of the country such as families, the government, the media, and the military. Rob Moore served as this year’s publicity chairman for the National Day Of Prayer Task Force.

“You talk about mass shootings and the violence in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, and around the country. It’s everywhere and a lot more prevalent than it used to be,” said Moore.

“We wanted to join and be part of what they’re doing today,” said Hess.

Part of what he hopes will be a national turnaround away from crime, looking on high for a miracle.

History tells us the National Day Of Prayer was set aside on the first Thursday in May in 1952 by Congress and president Harry S. Truman. But, it was president Ronald Reagan who moved it to the first Thursday in May.

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