Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Walking in Prayer, Growing in Unity

On Monday, August 15, a truly epic event happened in downtown Oklahoma City.

I mentioned recently that a black mass & "consumption of Mary" was going to be done by some local Satanists on Monday evening. Many Christians were outraged and deeply saddened, but we were encouraged to not go downtown and protest. Instead, we were encouraged to join together in unity and solidarity and pray for our city. 
"I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." ~Jn 17:20-21
I was curious to see who would show up; there were approximately 80 people marked as "attending" on the Facebook event page, and I figured that a few people here and there who were not on the Facebook event may show up. But, this was a weeknight at the end of a busy summer-and right as school starts in Oklahoma City-so I honestly did not think that more than a couple hundred people would come. Let's just say that I am really bad at estimating crowds and guessing how many people will come. 

We all gathered around the "Jesus Wept" statue downtown. 
 People flooded the street, coming in from all directions to gather together. According to one news source, "The ecumenical Unity Prayer Walk quickly swelled to more than 1,000 people." My pastor, Fr. Novak, made some introductory remarks, and then we began the walk. The walk only covered about one tenth of a mile, taking the group of people to First Church, downtown-but it was powerful. Admittedly, I started crying at one point just because it was so beautiful. Religious leaders from various denominations were walking arm-in-arm down the street, leading us. 

Walking in the crowd felt a bit reminiscent of the March for Life, because of the way that I found myself shuffled around in the crowd. My husband and I started praying the Rosary with one group, then found ourselves in another group who were praying the Rosary at a different pace. Some individuals walked in silence. Every now and then, one group would begin cheering loudly and praising God with songs and loud exclamations. 

When we reached First Church, we poured into the building, filling the pews. I met a lovely woman and her husband who were sitting next to us, and we chatted before the service began. Rev. Mark McAdow, the pastor at the church, led us all in an opening prayer. Then, the various church and city representatives sitting at the front offered prayers and readings from Scripture. 

They were from so many different churches-Baptist, Presbyterian,
United Methodist, and Catholic, to name a few.
There was also a sergeant from the local police department who led a prayer for the military and law enforcement, and a representative from Hobby Lobby, who led a prayer for business. Together, the packed church prayed for racial reconciliation, our city and state, the media, education, and families. Together, we lifted our voices and hearts to God. 

To have a glimpse of what things were like, check out this epic video of the walk! 


  1. Wow. That black mass thing is really weird. Glad you were able to react to it in a positive and uplifting way!

    1. It is weird-and creepy, so I am very thankful that the religious leaders in OKC decided to lead this!

  2. Great that the Christians in our city were able to gather together to pray for your city and walk outside in freedom, too! What a blessing!

    1. That it is! I think it's easy to take these kinds of things for granted-there are so many places in the world where people do not have the freedom to gather together in public to pray and unify like this.

  3. That's a lot more than 80 people!
    I'm so glad you were able to take part in this and that you shared about it with us.
    There's so much on the news about conflict, violence, etc. these days that it is nice to be reminded of the good that can happen when we--particularly as Christians, but even just as communities in general--come together for a common good.

    1. I'm so glad that you liked hearing about this! I agree, I think it's encouraging to hear about these types of events. The event organizers mentioned wanting to organize more events like this, which I think is neat-hopefully more communities around the country will do similar things!