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‘Park and pray’ event expected to fill Freeman Coliseum parking lot

Two sessions of Pray SA will happen over the next two Sunday evenings, but participants must pre-register, wear masks and will park away from each other to be safe.

SAN ANTONIO — A huge religious event being led by pastor/best-selling Christian author Max Lucado is getting a trial run today.

Event organizers say “Pray SA,” which will be held outside the Freeman Coliseum this Sunday evening, is an opportunity for San Antonians to come together safely to pray about topics like the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment and racism, among other things. Pray SA is organized by Unicity in partnership with churches, ministries, faith leaders and others across San Antonio.

Event planners are previewing the event and getting set up ahead of the weekend. The large-group prayer sessions, which are open to everyone of all faiths, will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, August 9 and Sunday, August 16. (gates will open at 6 p.m.) Participants will be required to wear masks and vehicles will be parked every other space to practice social distancing - and people must pre-register online.

At last check, more than 600 vehicles were signed up. Pray SA will also be streamed online so anyone can attend virtually.

Pastor Lucado, of Oak Hills Church on the city’s northwest side, said the event is meant to bring people together safely.

"Unprecedented days require unprecedented prayer. Pray SA gives anyone the chance to pray for Jesus Christ to heal and protect San Antonio, South Texas, and our country. We face so many challenges. Let's come together and pray."

Natalie Hardy, Executive Director of City Reachers for the LOVE of San Antonio, said the collaborative initiative gives all people the opportunity to pray for San Antonio and South Texas.

"Both biblical and human history have proven the power of prayer and repentance to change people, cities, states and nations. We believe God will impact San Antonio through this Solemn Assembly as we pray and repent.”

In a press release, organizers said, “Pray SA is not a political event. This is not about preaching. It’s not a concert. It’s not about one person or group. Instead this is a chance for you to seek the face of God, with facilitators guiding you, using Scripture and prayer prompts. God promises that when we humble ourselves and seek him in prayer, we will find Him.”

To register and get more information or watch the stream, visit the Pray SA website. More information can also be found on Unicity's website.