By Carole Robinson, Staff Writer
It would have been very easy for Audrey Curran and more than 200 others to stay home tucked into their warm, cozy beds on the last Saturday of the Christmas break for school-age children, but they didn’t. Instead, on that frigidly cold Saturday morning moms, dads, children, grandparents, preachers and community members bundled up and ventured into the cold to cover 23 Williamson County schools including a Franklin Special school and a private school across the county in a warm blanket of prayer.
From College Grove Elementary and Summit High to Grassland Middle and Westwood Elementary schools, groups met to pray.
At some schools only three people show up, at others as many as 19, but everyone who participated was there for a purpose – to pray for the nation, the children, the school administration and leadership in schools in Williamson County and the hurting families in Newtown, Conn.
“I believe, as Christians we’ve become very complacent,” said Curran, the idea person behind the event. “We’ve been complacent for too long. In these times, now we can’t be complacent anymore. It’s time to do something. I believe God can see us and he can see what we are trying to do.”
Participants met at the front of their chosen school at 9 a.m. They said a group prayer – some aloud and some in silence – for the school, the students, teachers and staff and school leaders. At some schools they added a Bible verse or sang a hymn and then for 26 minutes they walked around the school surrounding the outside of the building in prayer. They prayed for the 26 victims of Sandy Hook Elementary, for the children and adults in their chosen school and all Williamson County schools.
“Walking and praying symbolizes building a wall of protection around the school,” Curran said. “I believe we have got to make sure God is present in our schools. I believe he’ll see us and I believe he does answer prayers.”
The idea for the event, dubbed the Prayer Blanket Walk, evolved after the Dec. 14 Sandy Hook Elementary shootings that resulted in the murder of 20 children and six adults and rocked the private world of everyone in the nation.
Like most people, the shootings left Curran sad and frustrated.
“I talked to my family and my Dad – What can we do?” Curran said. “We talked about how they took God and prayer out of our schools and now they took away Christmas. I thought, what if we got together a bunch of Christian believers who believe in prayer.”
We may not be able to pray inside the school, but we can still pray outside the school, she added.
While the tragic shootings frustrated and angered Curran, the Christmas holiday took over her life, but the thought of doing something stayed with her – almost nagged her.
“It’s one thing to think of an idea and quite another thing to go through with it,” Curran admitted. “We all get busy, but Pastor Steve Berger (of Grace Chapel) always just says, ‘Do it.’ After two weeks, the thought didn’t go away, so I made a Facebook page and threw it out there.”
Going public and putting yourself out on the line can be scary, especially for a busy mother of three, but in a short time 800 supportive “friends” joined the Facebook group she created and about 200 of them showed up at area schools on a cold Saturday morning to pray – and that was without contacting churches and other groups.
For those who participated, the event was considered a success.
“For every obstacle that is put in our paths we will pray,” wrote Tish Jones on the WCS Prayer Blanket Facebook page. “If we can't pray Monday mornings then we will pray Saturday mornings. What may appear to weaken us should strengthen us. In darkness the light of God is in us, let it shine.”
Hundreds of postings described the personal affects of the walk and calls for another.
“I’m just curious to see if it can grow and if we can do it again,” Curran said. “I don’t want this to be a one-time event, but we don’t want to do it regularly and make it common so people can skip it or put it off. I would like it to be an event – there will be another walk.”
Those interested in being a part of the WCS Prayer Blanket Walk group can get involved through the Facebook page or watch the Herald’s online calendar for the next Prayer Blanket Walk event.
Posted on: 1/9/2013