REGION — Almost 2,000 people tuned in to the third We Pray San Diego gathering on Saturday, Jan. 30, to collectively pray for health care workers and those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than 23 churches from all over San Diego County came together to host an hour-long virtual prayer to specifically address San Diego hospitals, health care staff, first responders, those struggling with COVID-19 and their families.
“We have seen the sacrifices made by our frontline healthcare worker, so we wanted to lift them up and to remind them that we see them, we see what they do day in and day out and we want to be there for them,” said pastor Mario Compean, from Rock Church San Marcos.
Organizers of the event connected with 17 hospitals and dozens of health care workers to ask them about their experiences and what they needed prayer for.
Pastor John Ettore, from The Gathering Place Church, told The Coast News that these healthcare workers expressed that they’ve never seen death like this before and that they’ve never experienced this kind of exhaustion.
“They are feeling enormous emotional, spiritual, psychological pressure, so this means the world to them,” Ettore said. “They are deeply appreciative, they are overwhelmed and so thankful. They feel loved and seen, and they’re very grateful for the prayers.”
The event drew in 1,871 people from all over the county and even around the world.
Last year, the first event drew 15,000 people from across San Diego County and other states, followed by the second gathering, which drew nearly 3,300 people.
“We want to remind people that we are in this fight together, they are not alone in this and they don’t have to go far to find community,” Compean said. “We believe in the power of prayer, so we’re praying for everyone that is struggling through this pandemic. … We want to be a beacon of light and hope in the midst of a dark season.”
Participants in the event were given an hour-long guided prayer that was available in English and Spanish in the hopes that everyone would be unified throughout the entire prayer.
“Over the last year, we’re divided politically, we’re divided regarding the health mandates. We have people that are leaving churches, mad at their pastors for wearing masks, for not wearing masks, for believing in COVID, for not believing in COVID, the racial divide — it is a mess,” Ettore said. “The church is fractured and fragmented … so we called believers from all over the county to pray together. That brings healing and clarity to what’s important and helps us remember who we are.”