Weekly prayer walks continue in downtown Hartselle
Every Tuesday night, believers in Jesus have begun to gather in Hartselle and walk downtown to pray for a revival in the community and country.
Susie Burgess said she was first called to organize the event as a way to help bring unity to the forefront of people’s minds.
“Four years ago, when we were going through a really bad period with law enforcement officers being shot, we had this event that brought more than 200 like–minded people in the community together to pray,” she said.
Since the ongoing battle against COVID-19 makes gathering in large groups difficult, Burgess said this event seemed like a way to compromise and still accomplish her goal. “I thought this would be a really good thing to do where people can still social distance and wear masks,” she said.
Burgess said participants gather at Hartselle’s gazebo on Main and Railroad streets at 7 p.m. every Tuesday night, weather permitting, and walk the downtown area for 30 minutes. They can walk together with members of their household or take some time to walk and pray separately. The event ends with a corporate prayer at 7:30 p.m.
“I want to pray for revival in our country, but the place we can begin is right here,” she said. “I have a real heart for unity among the churches we have in Hartselle … I feel we’re missing a lot of opportunities because we don’t work together as we should. Revival isn’t going to happen when there’s dissension and disunity and backbiting.”
Burgess said the event is meant to bring people together and give them some of the fellowship that has been missing since the start of the pandemic.
“I do think there are a lot of people who aren’t getting fellowship they want and need,” she said. “Either their churches aren’t meeting, or they don’t feel comfortable right now gathering in a large group. With this event, we can stand 6 feet apart and fellowship with one another. It’s giving people an opportunity to restore fellowship with other believers, if that’s something they’re hungry for.”
Burgess said her participation in the weekly walk has helped her refocus and turn her attention to God – and she hopes it does the same for others.
“I’m not saying the racial issues going on now or COVID-19 are silly issues … I’m saying the enemy is using these things to distract us from our real purpose: loving God and loving each other,” she said. “I enjoy this feeling of being a part of a group that I know who are like–minded who generally care about others.”
Often praying for God’s blessings on the community she calls home, Burgess said she enjoys spending the time focusing on what’s most important. She visits city hall and the police department every week to pray for the leaders of Hartselle and the officers who protect the city.
“I pray and ask God to sustain our small business owners, the people who have to make a living,” she added. “I also pray for discernment for our police officers and for their safety.”