The National Day of Prayer Ignites Fire on the Altar

| July 1, 2017

An estimated 2,800 people from 70 churches gathered at the Merrell Center to pray for America at the National Day of Prayer. (Photo - Jay Cooper)

An estimated 2,800 people from 70 churches gathered at the Merrell Center to pray for America at the National Day of Prayer. (Photo – Jay Cooper)

One Event, Two Locations, Three Days

Occasionally people have the opportunity to participate in something bigger than themselves. “I believe very, very much that there are some things I can do by myself, but there are some things that are only possible when we all come together,” said Pastor Gbolanhan Faluade (Falu) of The River of Life Family Church. A community coming together is what just happened at the Merrell Center on May 4 and it continued to happen throughout that night and the next at the Fire on the Altar event.

Churches in Katy have participated in the National Day of Prayer since it began in 1952. But in recent years something special has happened — the churches have come together. Instead of meeting separately, or a few faithful folks gathered at City Hall, this year more than 70 churches stood together in prayer for America despite denominational differences, racial and socioeconomic differences, age variances and more.

Worship was led by the award-winning band Phillips, Craig and Dean, and Katy ISD Superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt opened the event and welcomed an estimated 2,800 guests to the Merrell Center. Pastor Mike McGown of Parkway Fellow­ship led the crowd in silent, personal prayers. Pastor Coleman Philley of First Baptist Katy prayed over Katy Police Chief Bill Hastings who represented all of our law enforcement.

Maddie Forks, a fourth-grader, stood on stage in front of the huge crowd with her school principal, Angel Bateman. Maddie honored all school faculty and teachers and asked them to stand before she prayed for them. Pastor Roy Meadows of Westland Baptist prayed for Katy teens and children, and he brought his grandchildren with him as representatives. Pastor Jorge Carrdenas from the Church on the Rock prayed for the U.S. Armed Forces represented by Sergeant Edwin Humerez.

The group prayed for revival for the all the nations with seven people, who prayed in seven different languages. Each prayed the same prayer in their native tongue as a reflection of both diversity and unity.

Mike Hooper, the director of prayer at KSBJ Radio, closed the event with an invitation for all to attend Fire on the Altar, which continued for another 48 hours at the EpiCentre.

More than 200 volunteers and worship team members from 45 churches throughout the Katy area collaborated to continue the worship and prayer from Thursday through Saturday. The variety of worship styles represented kept the worship fresh and enjoyable. Ministry teams from The Great Southwest Prayer Center ministered healing prayer and prophetic listening prayer to 76 people.

Fire on the Altar culminated in a citywide worship and prayer finale at the conclusion of 50 hours. Head pastors and worship leaders from 12 different churches led the crowd in a two-hour service on May 6.

The National Day of Prayer 2018 is scheduled for Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. followed by the Fire on the Altar 2018 event in which churches take turns to continue worship for 50 hours, beginning Thursday, May 3 at 8 p.m. and going until Saturday, May 5 at 9 p.m. For more information, visit katyprays.org or thegreatsouthwestprayercenter.org.

 

A variety of musical styles kept the worship fresh at Fire on the Altar. (Photo - Jay Cooper)

A variety of musical styles kept the worship fresh at Fire on the Altar. (Photo – Jay Cooper)

Fourth-grader Maddie Forks prayed for her principal, Angel Bateman, and all the teachers and school faculty in Katy. (Photo - Jay Cooper)

Fourth-grader Maddie Forks prayed for her principal, Angel Bateman, and all the teachers and school faculty in Katy. (Photo – Jay Cooper)

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Pastors Brenda Martin of GFUMC and Paul Goeke of Crosspoint Community Church enjoy the final hours of Fire on the Altar. (Photo – Jay Cooper)

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Katy ISD Superintendent Dr. Lance Hindt greets the crowd with Pastor Jim Leggett from Grace Fellowship, UMC. (Photo – Jay Cooper)

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The team from St. Bartholomews Catholic Church prepares to lead worship on Saturday afternoon at Fire on the Altar.


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