Cry Out America organizers are taking an aggressive approach to the annual Sept. 11 service by incorporating seven days of prayer before the service to be followed by 21 days of community service.
Cry Out America is one hour on one day of unified, interdenominational corporate prayer on the Bradley County Courthouse Plaza from noon to 1 p.m. The service will include worship-based interactive prayer focusing on the seven mountains of culture.
Community representatives with interests in each of the seven mountains will lead the assembly in prayer for arts and entertainment, business, education, family, government, media and religion.
Prayer warriors begin petitioning God 24 hours a day for seven days. From Sept. 4 through Sept. 10, people will pray over one of the mountains of culture in one-hour shifts in the North Cleveland Church of God Prayer Tower.
A group of Lee University students, who prayed daily from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. throughout the fall and spring semesters, volunteered to augment the effort from 6 a.m. to midnight.
Cry Out America county coordinators are Iris Ray, International Center for Spiritual Renewal, and Candies Creek Baptist Church Pastor Jamie Work. The national coordinator is the Rev. Kay Horner, interim director of International Center for Spiritual Renewal.
Ray said she believes God wants to awaken His people and wants transformation in society “and I believe we are going to see an awakening in our city and I believe it’s going to be the kind of awakening that it won’t matter what church you belong to.”
She said the Lee students “have such a passion to see God move in our land that they were willing to set up a prayer room on campus. They did that all last year.”
From Sept. 12 through Oct. 3, there will be 21 days of community service “ekballo” based on Matt. 9:38. “Ekballo” is the word, in Greek, Jesus used when he commanded his disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to “send out” workers into the harvest fields.
“Ekballo is the same word used in the New Testament to describe how Jesus cast out demons. It’s a strong word. It means that we would pray that Jesus would literally kick us out of our comfort zone and get engaged in the harvest,” Work said. “That’s what we hope those 21 days will be — engaging our community, being involved in the harvest.”
Some of the community projects coordinated through Candies Creek Baptist Church benefit the Cleveland/Bradley Emergency Shelter. The project list includes interior and exterior painting, cleaning or replacing the awning at the entrance and striping the parking lot.
Homeless Services Coordinator Dwight Donohoo said great things have been happening at the emergency shelter since 1987.
“There are a lot of people hurting in a lot of different fashions, so pray for the homeless,” he said. “They just want to know someone cares. They came from mainstream society and want to re-enter mainstream society,” Donohoo said. “But, they do not want to be forgotten during the process.”
He said being forgotten leads to feelings of isolation.
“They don’t want that. They want to know they are loved, they are thought of and that one day they’ll be your neighbor again,” he said. “They need to know they are prayed for and that someone thinks of them.”
Donohoo said, “You don’t have to be a paycheck away to struggle in these uncertain economic times.”
The following is a list of churches responsible for each of the seven days of prayer:
Peerless Road Church of God of Prophecy, Wednesday, Sept. 4, will pray for the family; Living Word Fellowship, Sept. 5, marketplace; Sept. 6, First Baptist Church, education; Sept. 7, North Cleveland Church of God, arts, entertainment and sports; Sept. 8, Candies Creek Church, religion; Sept. 9, The Prayer Center, government; and Sept. 10, Heritage Fellowship Church of God, media.
“Bring your people together to pray for that mountain, but if you’re called to a specific mountain or you know people who are, encourage them to go on that day,” Ray said.
Churches wishing to participate in one or more days of prayer may contact each of the churches for more information, or call Candies Creek Baptist Church at 423-479-3731.