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Praying for guidance

Prayer rally asks for guidance for leaders, community


About two dozen people gathered Monday evening in front of Albert Lea City Hall to pray for guidance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The prayer rally, organized by a group of residents who organize Albert Lea Christian events, was meant to peacefully ask for the chance for small businesses to open without any repercussions from state or local government. Multiple people said during the gathering that they were confused as to why “big box stores” were allowed to be open with larger crowds while smaller, local businesses had to remain closed or limited.

Jenny Williams started off the prayer rally by leading the group in a prayer for the community as well as local, state and federal leaders.

“Be with the small business owners, Lord, and help them, guide them,” she said. 

After Williams got the event going, more people joined in with their own prayers — many for businesses, some for high school seniors and others for what they felt were lost or infringed-upon freedoms. 

Williams said she felt there is a good deal of suffering, not just due to the coronavirus but to the impact certain closures, restrictions and guidelines have brought about. She said she hopes leaders at all levels will take that into consideration as they figure out how to reopen the country. 

Multiple people at the rally prayed for President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to stay safe and healthy amid the pandemic, and to stay strong while making difficult decisions. 

Williams prayed for people to be able to figure out the truth, something she said has been difficult because “there have been so many lies out there.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s stay-at-home executive order first went into effect the evening of March 27, and has been extended more than once since the initial order. As of Tuesday morning, the order was set to be in place through May 18. While the order initially called for all businesses deemed non-essential to be closed, some restrictions have eased over the past weeks. Since May 4, retail businesses previously closed by the order were able to reopen for curbside pickup. 

While a number of people at Monday’s rally acknowledged there is a balancing act to reopening the country safely, there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all approach, as the virus has impacted smaller or more rural cities differently than larger urban areas.

“Let’s gather and pray for our community, leaders and those who have been most affected by the COVID-19 virus through sickness, economics, mental health and more,” a flier for the event stated. “Let us also petition our mayor and council to open up our community, let businesses thrive again, and the rest of us go back to living.” 


About Colleen Harrison

Colleen Harrison is the photo editor at the Albert Lea Tribune. She does photography and writes general-assignment stories.

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