BURNHAM - While differences threaten to separate families and communities, Christians around the world are preparing to unite in prayer.
The Global Day of Prayer will be recognized locally from 7 to 8:30 p.m. May 22 at the Juniata Valley YMCA, in Burnham. The Rev. Bill Muldoon, of The Way, Truth, Life Christian Church, said this year's event will emphasize prayer for youth and family.
"What I'd love to see the most is our families stay together," Muldoon said. "That's a basic hallmark of our life. That's my goal."
Muldoon said Global Day of Prayer is an annual event that originated in South Africa. According to a brief history on the event's website, Christian businessman Graham Power had a vision with clear instructions to call Christians from all denominations together for a day of repentance and prayer.
His vision was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, "If my people, who are called by name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."
Muldoon said word of the effort spread worldwide, and it was picked up locally by Locust Grove Mennonite Church. Global Day of Prayer has been recognized in Mifflin and Juniata counties for about a decade.
"We've done everything else," to resolve conflicts around the globe, especially those concerning families and youth, Muldoon explained. "It hasn't worked. We need to pray."
The local service will be a combination of music by the River Church Band and prayer. Muldoon said there will be five speakers, including a youth speaker. Participants will sing a variety of traditional and contemporary hymns, and a world prayer will be recited at the end of the event.
"We are targeting youth, praying for nations, hot spots, global leaders," he explained. "We're also praying for federal, state and local leaders. We will pray, by name, our local leaders."
Muldoon estimated that about 20 churches are coming together to organize the event.
For more information, visit Global Day of Prayer online at www.globaldayofprayer.com.