For 49 ongoing months, a small group has met every third Thursday in the courtroom of the Lafayette courthouse to pray. They represent a variety of churches in the community, both protestant and catholic, and they pray primarily for two things, according to organizor Harold Carman: the revival of local churches, and the awakening of the community to its need for a savior.
“It began as a commemoration of 9/11,” said Carman, who serves as pastor of Amazing Grace Community Church. “Forty-nine months ago… when we said amen, and everyone raised their heads, two or three said— ‘why do we have to wait to do this once a year? Why couldn’t we do it once a month?’ So I asked Mayor Linville, and he took it before the council. They voted unamiously that the third Thursday of every month, we could meet here.
“We pray for two specific things, but of course we give everybody liberty to pray for personal requests. We usually pray for about an hour, and that’s the time we agreed with the mayor, so we try to keep to that.”
“We invite anyone that wants to come to pray. We’ve got all kinds of folks here. We’ve got some praying sitting down, standing up, walking around, laying down—we’ve had all kinds of people praying. And all of our traditions are differeent. Some people are used to only one person praying at a time, some people are used to several people praying at time. We’ve had four or five people praying at the same time here on some occasions.
“I urge everyone just to be speaking with the Lord as if there were only two here—themselves and him. I try to zone everybody else out when someone else is praying, or say amen if I hear them say something I agree with. Which is a whole lot! It’s amazing how much we agree on!”
Meeting time is between 12 noon and 1 PM on every third Thursday of the month.