As the new year begins, Kilgoreites will join together in prayer and fellowship to ask for God’s blessings for the city and its community.
The 2022 Community Prayer event will include 22 hours of continuous prayer Friday, Jan. 7 and Saturday, Jan. 8. The event will begin Friday at 4 p.m. and continue through 2 p.m. Saturday at the Kilgore Lions Club building at 377 N. Rusk St. Members of the community are invited to attend and join in prayer.
Jody Clements and his wife Courtney first established these prayer events in 2020 to bring the community together in prayer and scripture readings. Clements, a former Kilgore ISD superintendent and Longview ISD assistant superintendent, came across the idea of a day of continuous prayer in a book. Together with his wife and some of their friends, they decided to bring this event to Kilgore and have seen a great community response. This year, they have once again found support from the community.
“For the most part, we have had a good response,” Clements said Tuesday.
“It’s sometimes difficult to get the churches as a whole to announce and publicize events but we have a good network of people in our community that get the word out.”
The doors will open on Friday for come-and-go prayer throughout the day and into Saturday. There will be a prayer walk set up inside the building to pray over specific needs of the community. Participants are encouraged to pick a timeslot to pray for Kilgore schools, leaders, first responders, businesses, churches and more throughout the event’s duration, either as an individual or with a group.
Clements said the event allows the local faith community to answer God’s call to prayer while also lifting up problems, issues and needs to divine help.
“God tells us to be devoted to prayer, first of all, and there are so many needs in our community. Health welfare, family issues, financial needs, mental health, poverty, etc. We also want to pray for our businesses, schools, leaders, first responders, churches and our community of people in general. From our perspective, God is our only answer and we pray for his guidance, wisdom and protection every day for Kilgore,” he said.
Participants can come to the event whenever they like or choose a specific time for their church or organization to attend. They can pray for needs of their own or join others to pray over important issues in Kilgore, the East Texas area and the nation as a whole.
Clements’ said they are still seeking people to sign up to pray during their “night owl” shifts after 10 p.m. Prayer shifts are set at hour-long intervals, but participants are free to come and go as they please.
Those wanting to participate may contact Clements by messaging him on Facebook.
The past two years have been difficult in Kilgore and around the world, and Clements believes asking for God’s help is crucial for our community as we begin our journey into 2022.
“We pray because He can do more for us in five minutes than we can do in five years. In short, we pray so God’s hand will be with us this year.”
The 2022 Community Prayer event is sponsored by members of the Kilgore community.
Carter Mize contributed to this story.