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VOLUME 1 • ISSUE 1   |   Release date: May 15, 2003

In This Issue
TBN Run by Atheists
New HB Player
Confusing Circle of Prayer
Regular Baptists Not Regular At All
Survey Results
Church Sign of the Month

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Circle of Prayer Surrounding National Day of Prayer Gets Confusing
DETROIT, MI – The recent National Day of Prayer on May 1st has sparked great interest nationwide. Various Christian groups rallied to the cause by dedicating time throughout the day to prayer, while other groups dedicated even more time to making a simple concept utterly confusing.

As for the concept, Calvin Jackson, one of the major national organizers of the day, explains, "Although this day has no particular religious significance, we make it significant, religiously speaking, by praying all at the same time. After all, if Christ is here when two or three come together, think about if two or three hundred million came together! Whoa!"

The premise is of course just that simple, promoting prayer – but recent events reveal otherwise. As leaders at Riverview Community Church in Canton, MI began organizing citywide prayer meetings for May 1st, they realized the immense need for spiritual preparation in the days leading up to the day. In response, they requested intercessors to pray strategically for one week for the people who would pray on the National Day of Prayer.

"When I heard that they were asking intercessors to pray for the day of prayer, one thing kept coming to mind," recalls Dorothy Seymour, a volunteer intercessor. "But who's going to pray for those people?" Organizers took her concern very seriously and sought God's will on the matter. They were given the conclusion that much greater preparation was needed. That's when events got complicated.

Dirk Buckner, one of Riverview's intercessory team captains, explained, "At first it seemed simple. We just needed to find additional intercessors to pray 2 weeks before May 1st for the intercessors who would be praying 1 week beforehand for the people who would be praying on the day of prayer. As we began to fill the prayer schedules we started to realize that at any given point in time there's a finite number of people who are willing to pray—and, more importantly, not enough to fill all the prayer spots!"

The organizers were in a bind, but decided the only reasonable solution was to reuse some of those people already planning to pray on the day of prayer. In effect, Riverview had some people praying for intercessors who were praying for them.

"It's hard to know what to pray for someone who is praying for me. Why don't I cut the middleman and pray for myself?" asked Larry Weinberg. "Or is it praying for my prayers? I don't know—it gets a little confusing."

Similar complaints came from many of the intercessors as they realized they would now be pulling double duty, or "circular prayer," as they nicknamed it. Some other skeptics questioned the process, and asked, "Isn't praying for people who will pray for other peoples' prayers somewhat redundant?" In an attempt to dispel any skepticism, Jonathan Weaver, Riverview's Pastor of strategic concerns and events, effectively explained, "No, it's not."

As if things weren't complicated enough, Riverview also appointed thanksgivers, to thank God for the incercessors who did volunteer, and confessors, to confess the sins of a church lacking the appropriate number of intercessors.

"God is certainly pleased that we did our best with our limited spiritual resources," reflected Weaver. "We even set aside part of May 1st to pray for God's help in planning a more rigorous intercessory recruiting campaign prior to next year's day of prayer! And I can't wait for it to begin this October!"

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