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2018 National Day of Prayer calls for residents to unite May 3 on Gainesville square
2017 National Day of Prayer
The Rev. Mike Taylor leads prayer at the family station during the 2017 National Day of Prayer event on the downtown square in Gainesville. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Residents from all over Hall County will gather on the downtown Gainesville square May 3. Not for a chicken festival or free concert but to pray.

Hall will join the National Day of Prayer as it has in years past by setting up prayer stations around the square at noon Thursday, May 3. Each station, which is led in prayer by a community member, will focus on a specific topic in society: media, business, education, family, church, military and government.

National Day of Prayer

Where: Downtown Gainesville square

When: Noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, May 3

More info:

“It’s the National Day of Prayer, and Gainesville and Hall County is a part of our nation,” said Brandy Sandoval, a leader with Hall County Prayer, which is organizing the event. “So it’s a way that the nation comes together to pray for all the areas that are primary and first in our nation.”

There will also be a breakfast at the Gainesville Civic Center from 6:45 a.m. to 8:15 a.m. The 48 tables are sold out and will be filled with guests eager to pray for the nation and hear Dean Sikes speak.

“It’s an inspiration for people to pray for our community and for our nation,” Sandoval said. “The effect is bringing a greater awareness every year to the importance of praying for our men and women who are serving our nation in many ways.”

Sikes, a speaker dedicated to encouraging young people, will be at the prayer breakfast to share ways to pray for young people as they grow into community leaders.

“Everyone who comes, almost everyone, has children or grandchildren they care about,” Sandoval said. “So we’re just bringing an awareness of this generation and how we can benefit and be a part of and help this next generation, whether or not they're in our family, church or neighborhood.”

On the square, guests will hear from community members like the Rev. Brian Hall from Chestnut Mountain Church as he leads prayer at the government station. They’ll also hear from Dave Ippilito from Riverside Military Academy, who will lead prayer at the military station.

“There’s been an increase in our leaders that have been helping with the National Day of Prayer,” Sandoval said. “And the people coming out and participating in it — there’s definitely been an increase there. Last year it rained on us, yet people came from every which direction, umbrellas in hand, to pray for the nation. I just think that’s amazing and makes me proud to be an American to see that.”

In the end, it’s all about unity. That’s this year’s theme, so Sandoval said they'll be praying for unity between everyone in Hall as well as across the nation.

In the midst of division in the country, she said it’s important to remind each other to have “one heart and one mind over the nation,” which is something she said the Hall County National Day of Prayer is always about.

“It’s just a real blessing to do that,” Sandoval said. “And we get really positive responses from everyone. People have just been glad to join in from all walks of life.”