There are walls that Beth Pennington wants to tear down, and she wants the help of others in the area to get the job done.
Pennington plans to build a Community Circle of Prayer around Morenci for seven consecutive Sunday mornings, with each week focusing on a specific area of need. At seven entry points into the city, people will gather for an hour of prayer beginning this Sunday.
Pennington recalls the Old Testament tale of Joshua and his people circling the city of Jericho seven times before God brought down the walls and allowed the Israelites to destroy the city.
She's seeking "prayer warriors" who will join her in bringing down the walls that prevent the people of Morenci from developing a relationship with Jesus and bring revival and renewal to the community.
"I don't know what victories God has in store for Morenci," she said, "but I believe he has some."
One example, she said, relates to the missing Skelton brothers. She knows there has been a lot of prayer about the issue, but she looks forward to the circle of prayer on the horizon.
"There’s something about coming together and praying over something in unity that's powerful," she said. "The possibilities are endless over what God could or would do."
1. Week one of the program begins with spiritual openness.
"First, I want to pray about spiritual openness," Pennington said, making people open to one another and love each other as God intended.
She came to Morenci from a much larger city and didn't develop a connection with the small town for a long time. She now realizes how much she missed out in developing relationships due to her own mental blockage. Now she wants to connect with others who love Morenci and believe in the power of prayer.
2. The second week will focus on the school district and address finances, morale, unity, excellence—many areas, she said.
3. Week three seeks support of local businesses, that they will prosper and thrive.
4. The fourth prayer point aims to bring down the walls in John Skelton's mind and heart and enable him to tell the whereabouts of his sons.
5. The fifth week will focus on support of the local churches that provide service to others.
6. Families is the subject of the sixth week, praying that they will grow in love and commitment to each other.
7. Finally, the effort seeks support for community leaders, that they grow in wisdom, and for the safety of community services such as the police and fire department.
As of last week, there were 30 people committed to joining Pennington and she's hoping to reach more through this article, through letters to churches and by word of mouth.
Pennington will organize where people will be positioned around the city. They're welcome to stand or to bring lawn chairs, or even to remain in their vehicle—but everyone will be pointed toward the center of town. She will provide appropriate scripture and points of reference each week to preserve the unity of each group, but each can decide on its own how to proceed.
"I want Morenci to be a place that really thrives," she said.
• To participate, call 458-6450 or write to her at [email protected]