Local National Day of Prayer’s Heart Including Sparking Revival, Unity

Written by Paul R. Kopenkoskey on . Posted in Local

rhek235 Randy Hekman’s heart beats for revival and unity among believers in Jesus Christ.Randy Hekman’s big picture goal extends beyond people praying together for one hour during the local National Day of Prayer at Rosa Parks Circle in downtown Grand Rapids.

“I really want to see revival,” said Hekman, executive director of The Grand Awakening, a nonprofit he founded that desires to see a spiritual awakening sweep across a unified Body of Christ in West Michigan.

And because Hekman dreams big, he wants to see it impact the nation as well.

“We really want to see the church revived,” added Hekman, whose previous stints include juvenile court judge in Kent County, founder of the Michigan Family Forum, executive director of CBH Ministries and executive pastor of Crossroads Bible Church.

Adding momentum

“We want to have the National Day of Prayer add momentum, to bring unity among the churches of West Michigan, to one real church of West Michigan,” said Hekman. “Jesus prayed in 1 John 17 so ‘that they may be one as we are one.’”

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The modern-day National Day of Prayer was enacted as a law by Congress in 1952 and is observed during the first Thursday of May. Each year since its inception, the president has signed a proclamation that encourages Americans to pray on this day.

Before 1952, prayer and fasting was established by the Second Continental Congress from 1775 until 1783 and by President John Adams in 1798 and 1799. With the exceptions of presidents Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson, most presidents have issued annual or special occasion proclamations for a national day of prayer.

Seven areas of focus

The National Day of Prayer in downtown Grand Rapids first will have leaders in the community read scriptures related to the areas of business, government, education, arts and entertainment, media, religion and family. Thereafter, pastors will pray on behalf of each respective focus.

National Day of Prayer 235 The National Day of Prayer in Grand Rapids will be held at Rosa Parks Circle, 135 Monroe Center St. NW.Hekman noted, historically, prayer has always precluded revivals and great awakenings: First Great Awakening (1731-1755); Second Great Awakening (1790-1840); Great Prayer Revival (1857-1858); Welch Revival (1904-1905); Canadian Revival (1971) and the Jesus Movement (1960-1980).

Can history repeat itself? That is what The Grand Awakening website asks (www.grandawakening.org).

“If we subscribe to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, the Trinity, the inerrancy of the Bible, that we’re saved by Christ, then we’re brothers of the same faith,” said Hekman. “The National Day of Prayer is an opportunity for the church to come together in unity. Prayer has always been a part of every awakening.”

IF YOU GO

What: Local National Day of Prayer

Where: Rosa Parks Circle, 135 Monroe Center St. NW, downtown Grand Rapids

When: 7-8 p.m., Thursday, May 5

Why: “If my people, who are called by my 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” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

CONNECT

www.grandawakening.org

www.tinyurl.com/GRDayofPrayer

Author Information
Paul R. Kopenkoskey
About:
Paul R. Kopenkoskey is a full-time freelance writer and editor for an assortment of publications including Grand Rapids Magazine, Grand Rapids Business Journal, and Faith Grand Rapids magazine. He has completed his first novel with the working title, Karl Beguiled. He and his wife, Barb, live in Wyoming, Michigan. They have three children and five grandchildren.

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