NEW YORK (BP)–As the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, leaders of New Hope New York are asking pastors to consider leading their congregations in a special time of prayer for the needs that remain in the city.
The effort is being coordinated through PrayNewYork.com, a website allowing individuals to sign on as prayer partners for the city, its people and outreach efforts that will take place over the next few years. New Hope New York is the name of the Strategic Focus Cities effort in New York, which is developing strategies for prayer, church planting, church strengthening, pastoral leadership development and collegiate ministry efforts that will take place primarily in 2004 and 2005.
“We would like churches to consider giving out the PrayNewYork.com prayer guide in their services,” said Jack Smith, partnerships and networks director for New Hope New York. “We thought maybe on Sept. 8, on the Sunday before the 11th, they could take at least five minutes in their worship service and pray through the prayer guide we have developed.”
The emphasis also could serve as an opportunity for individuals to sign up to receive the prayer requests that are sent on e-mail every other week, Smith said.
The prayer guides, which also serve as bookmarks, are available free of charge to churches that request them, he said. Orders should be sent by Aug. 20 to [email protected] or by telephone at (212) 580-0655. The prayer guide also can be downloaded on the www.praynewyork.com website.
The prayer guide materials will help a leader walk the church through prayer for the city and those affected by 9/11. They would be an appropriate part of remembrance services that churches might be holding, Smith said.
One of the biggest needs currently, Smith said, is for those who are reliving the memories of Sept. 11 as the anniversary draws near. He told of one man he had spoken with personally who worked the World Trade Center tower first hit by terrorists, but that morning he overslept. As he was leaving home he heard the report of the crash — which hit the floor where he worked.
“If he had gone to work and been there on time, he would be dead and he knows it,” Smith said. “He got through those first few months and did fine until a couple of weeks ago. And that’s where a lot of people are right now. As the first anniversary approaches the memory just comes down very strongly.”
For more information on the New York prayer effort, visit www.praynewyork.com or call (212) 580-0655. Other resources for Sept. 11 remembrance services are available at www.namb.net/911.