Prayer tent volunteers venture downtown each month
They have set up a couple of tents in the middle of downtown Georgetown, Ky., and made themselves available to pray on the second Saturday of every month for the past year.
They pray for those walking up to them off the street in their city of 35,000. They pray for mothers who are hurting over situations with children and fathers who want to be back with family.
They prayed for those injured when an ambulance went screaming by. And they have prayed for a couple who was on the way to the veterinarian to put down a pet.
"We want to be the body of Christ," said Mike Beaver, who heads up the group of prayer warriors. "Inside those [church] walls we come together, huddle up, strengthen each other, but the mission field is beyond the walls of the church."
They pray from 9 a.m. until noon -- longer if there is an immediate need -- and have braved rain and freezing temperatures.
Bad weather doesn't stop them, and the community notices the intent, Beaver said.
"When we first started a year ago, my anticipation, even though we live in the Bible Belt, is that we would get a lot of negative," he said. "But it's almost all positive. We get a lot of horns blowing, people yelling out the window 'Amen!' and 'Thank you for being here!' We've even had people bring us a couple dozen donuts."
Second Saturday Prayer, the unofficial name of the group, wants to expand with other churches in the community joining them, thus the name of Gano Baptist Church is purposely left off any advertisements.
Beaver said it started after he went with a group to visit a similar prayer tent experience in a tough part of Cincinnati. The needs were heartbreaking and "it affected me," he said.
Beaver subsequently set up a prayer tent at the National Wild Turkey Federation Jake Day. "Two hundred people came through the tent," he said. "It was amazing."
They took the idea back to Gano Baptist Church where they found a supportive pastor in Rob Muncy and some willing prayer volunteers to put faith in action. Anywhere from six to 12 show up on a regular basis at the Second Saturday Prayer, Beaver said.
"Our pastor is there pretty much at every prayer tent we've had," Beaver said. "He's 100 percent on board."
"Our goal is to let people know we are there and we are going to be there for them," Beaver said. "We want to get the word out. We aren't looking for recognition or anything like that. If we can get enough people involved [through other churches in the area], we can do more than one location or do multiple weekends a month."
Beaver understands prayer changes everything "and people don't realize they need prayer until it's there."
So the Second Saturday Prayer group, however big or small it may be, promises to be there for those who need prayer in their community.