by Larry Austin
Seven Island churches in the Grand Island Ministerium will take part in a statewide initiative that seeks to cover New York in prayer.
OneHeartCry New York will run June 3 to 9 with participating churches, including St. Stephen R.C. Church, St. Timothy Evangelical Lutheran Church; Live, Laugh, Love Ministries; Island Presbyterian Church, Harbor Lights Fellowship, Trinity United Methodist Church and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church.
Rev. Sue Kaiser of Trinity said OneHeartCry was started in the Adirondacks by a man who heard God's call to initiate a statewide prayer initiative. Prayer points for the event could cover such things as government, the school systems, leadership or poverty.
Each church will have not just a service, but an organized 24 hours of prayer. Other regions in the state will take part as well. "That's what this is part of. We are really part of something bigger," Kaiser said.
Jan Popielski of Harbor Lights Fellowship on Grand Island Boulevard said the initiative will let people know that "there is a power greater than themselves that we can avail ourselves to that can change a region, change a neighborhood, change a community."
"We can be so me-focused in our prayers, and this will open people's eyes to pray for the bigger picture of government, the region," Popielski said.
A kickoff prayer service for Grand Island's part in the effort will take place at Trinity United Methodist Church, 2100 Whitehaven Road, on Saturday, June 2, at 2 p.m.
Popielski said a goal is to have each region of the state take a week and pray for the state, "so that the whole year could be covered in prayer."
That prayer could make a difference is scripturally based, Kaiser said.
"Jesus prayed often and in all kinds of settings," she said. "After he had done major healings he went off to pray by himself."
"Scripture does talk about praying for governments and those that are in authority over us, so we do have a mandate. We don't have to like the politics of the government, but God does say we can pray for government and we should," Popielski said.
"Prayer does change things," Popielski added. "We have something available to us that can change situations, we can see miracles, we can see hearts transformed."