SAN MARCOS – More than 15,000 residents took part in the first-ever We Pray San Diego event, a countywide initiative that brought residents, pastors, church leaders and city and county officials together to pray.
The one-day prayer gathering on Saturday, June 20 was organized by Rock Church and spanned 11 different locations throughout San Diego County.
“It brings tears to my eyes,” said Mary, a member of Rock Church who attended the San Marcos event. “During such an uncertain time in our nation and in our city, this is exactly what everyone needed. It brings me hope.”
Pastors Daniel & Theresa Jones of Summit Church were the leads of the San Marcos location, along with Jason Mayer, the campus pastor at Rock Church in San Marcos.
“This was really birthed out of what our nation’s been going through with COVID-19 and the racial and social unrest that is going on,” Theresa Jones said. “Pastors, city officials and people in the community decided that we need to pray for God to heal our land and for us to come back economically, physically, spiritually and socially.”
For one hour, more than 7,000 people lined sidewalks and street corners while practicing social distancing guidelines, and another 8,000 people tuned into Facebook and Instagram live programs to pray from their homes.
Residents were joined by city mayors, county supervisors and other elected officials who prayed alongside them at various locations, along with 148 pastors from 135 different churches from across denominational lines.
“It was an overwhelming success. There was so much momentum and encouragement. The fact that you can get that many churches and that many city officials united on anything is a miracle,” Theresa Jones said.
More than 500 people attended the San Marcos location including San Marcos Mayor Rebecca Jones, County Supervisor Jim Desmond, District Attorney Summer Stephan and Carlsbad Mayor Matt Hall.
Though the focus of the event was to pray for COVID-19 and social justice issues that have been brought to the forefront in recent weeks, prayer guides were made available to attendees to encourage them to pray for a variety of things affecting their communities, the county and the nation as a whole.
“It was an encouraging sign to the community. I think it gave everyone hope and showed so much unity,” Theresa Jones said. “Everyone was represented. It broke down barriers between a lot of people, even between church leaders and city officials.”
Jones told The Coast News that the pastors and church leaders that took part in the San Marcos location decided that they will continue to meet for prayer. She also said she’s confident that this event is not a one-time thing.
Pastor Miles McPherson of Rock Church sent the following email statement to The Coast News regarding the We Pray San Diego event:
“We initially started planning the We Pray San Diego event in response to COVID-19. We had no idea how the events surrounding George Floyd’s death would impact our communities and country and how we needed prayer now more than ever. We even had 11 additional cities such as Long Beach, Goodyear, Avondale, and Philadelphia walk alongside San Diego and participate in this prayer event. Mexico had its own Facebook Event online! It is incredible to see what God can do when our hearts cry out to Him.
Our focus was to pray for a breakthrough in the aftermath of COVID-19 and racial division that has threatened to tear our city apart. I couldn’t have been more pleased with the turnout! Weeks of planning and preparation led up to this momentous occasion, and to see God unite so many churches and their congregations was a powerful feat! I’ve heard from multiple people we must do this again. And I know we will.”