Prayer is the focus May 1-4 in Billings, in conjunction with the 66th annual National Day of Prayer.
The national theme this year is “For Your Great Name’s Sake! Hear Us … Forgive Us … Heal Us!” taken from Daniel 9:19. The day was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman.
The week will kick off with a Bible Reading Marathon, hosted by New Life Church, in the viewing parking lot adjacent to Billings Logan International Airport. It will start Monday morning in the first Old Testament book of Genesis, said marathon coordinator Patti Brown, and continue until volunteer readers finish the last book of the Bible, Revelation, on Thursday, usually after 72 straight hours.
“Our reading is typically complete by 6 a.m. on Thursday, which is the National Day of Prayer,” said Patti Brown. “It is so great to see the unity of nearly 100 readers from various church denominations across our community coming together to make this event happen.”
Breakfast and prayer
The actual Day of Prayer will be marked by two events in Billings, the Billings Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast in the morning and a citywide prayer event at First Baptist Church, 218 N. 34th St.
The breakfast, which will feature guest speaker Frank Daryl Tanana, a former Major League Baseball pitcher, will start with breakfast at 6:30 a.m., followed by the talk from 7 to 8. It takes place at the Red Lion Hotel and Convention Center, 1223 Mullowney Lane.
The cost is $22.50, or $160 for a table of eight. Buy tickets at http://billingsprayerbreakfast.com or by calling breakfast coordinator Joan Carr at 670-3679.
Tanana, who lives with his family in Farmington Hills, Michigan, serves on the Pro Athletes Outreach Board of Directors and is involved in the Home Plate and Career Impact Ministries.
He was the California Angels’ first-round draft pick in 1971. During his 21-year baseball career, he pitched for six different teams, including the Angels, the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets and New York Yankees.
Tanana appeared in three consecutive All-Star Games, from 1976 to 1978, and led the league in strikeouts in 1975, as well as in ERA and shutouts in 1977. He has been named among the 100 greatest Angels players.
In 1983, Tanana became a Christian. That led him to start Bible studies with other players and to disciple teammates. Much of his time these days is spent encouraging other men in their faith.
The citywide prayer event at First Baptist Church will include two activities. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., individuals are invited to pray inside the church. From 7 to 8:30 p.m., a citywide prayer service will focus on praying for the country, with different formats for prayer and worship.
For more information about the prayer event, call coordinator Penny Hudson at 545-9057 or email her at email@example.com.