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Area prepares for National Day of Prayer
Breakfast, event on Square among activities set for Thursday
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National Day of prayer events

Hall County Prayer Network prayer breakfast

When: 6:45 a.m. Thursday, doors open at 6:30 a.m.

Where: Gainesville Civic Center,  830 Green St. NE

Main speaker: Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders

Opening statement and prayer: U.S. Rep. Doug Collins, R-Gainesville

Breakfast: Provided by Longstreet Cafe

Tickets: $15 apiece at door

St. John Baptist Church

When: Services at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m. Thursday

Where: St. John Baptist Church, 757 E.E. Butler Parkway, Gainesville

Of note: Sanctuary open 7 a.m. through end of 7 p.m. prayer service with people on hand throughout that more than 12-hour window to receive prayer requests

National Day of Prayer on the Square

When: Noon Thursday

Where: Downtown Gainesville square

What: Seven prayer stations (media, business, education, family, church, military, government) with leaders at each

Multiple options are available locally for those wishing to mark the 64th annual National Day of Prayer with other people of faith.

Among the activities Thursday are a prayer breakfast at the Gainesville Civic Center and prayer on the square at noon in downtown Gainesville.

The Hall County Prayer Network is sponsoring the breakfast, where the doors will open at 6:30 a.m. and Os Hillman of Marketplace Leaders is the main speaker. Breakfast will be provided by Longstreet Cafe, and a limited number of tickets will be available for $15 each at the door.

Maxine Wagner, a board member of the Hall County Prayer Network, said the group sought to involve more of the community this year. The network has invited those from local police, fire and sheriff’s departments as well as ministries. She said a crowd between 350 and 375 is expected.

The group is also organizing the noon prayer on the square, which will feature seven prayer stations. Wagner said the seven stations are media, business, education, family, church, military and government, with a person at each station leading prayer for that particular focus. The network’s slogan is “keeping prayer alive in Hall County.”

“It’s just such an important time for the community to come together and support each other,” Wagner said.

St. John Baptist Church in Gainesville is opening its sanctuary throughout the day for the community to come in for prayer. It will hold services led by its staff members at 7 a.m., noon and 7 p.m., but senior pastor Stephen P. Samuel is hoping people will also come in whenever they’re able during the day.

“Sometimes even in the Christian church, we overlook the power of coming together corporately and seeking God,” Samuel said.

Samuel’s church has 40 people who participate in a prayer line Monday through Friday of each week. This will be the first time the church is opening its doors throughout the Day of Prayer.

“It just seemed like the natural thing to do,” Samuel said. “Prayer is such a part of our culture at our church. We didn’t want it to be like any other day.”