The Tamaqua Salvation Army of Tamaqua and the Tamaqua Area Faith Fellowship Network are teaming up to bring the community together in prayer during the coronavirus pandemic.

The groups hope the Tamaqua community will pause and listen while every church, temple, synagogue or place of prayer rings bells at 3:18 p.m. each Friday.

The time represents March 18, 2020, the date in which the first COVID-19 victim died in Pennsylvania. The bells will chime in Tamaqua every Friday until government authorities deem it safe to continue activities as usual and the threat of the coronavirus is under control.

“The goal is to encourage all to pause for several minutes in order to fill their hearts with blessed assurance and reach out to our loving Creator,” according to a statement from the Tamaqua Salvation Army.

The Army hopes that community members will take time to pray for “strength, wisdom and grace in the face of an unseen, but known threat. We hope that individuals will pray for each other, our healthcare ‘soldiers’ on the frontline, our first responders, our leaders, and their individual concerns, forging an Army on its knees. Rather than feed into fear, we implore our community to unite in prayer.”

The following prayer is suggested for the Friday bell events:

“God, grant us the strength to live this day abundantly. Let us not turn coward toward its difficulties nor prove recreant to its duties. Let us not lose faith in other people. Keep our hearts sweet and sound despite meanness, ingratitude or even treachery.

Preserve us from minding the little stings and from giving them.

Help us to be strong, and to live so fearlessly and honestly, that no outward failure could diminish the joy of living with conscious integrity.

Open wide the eyes of our souls that we may see the goodness in all things.

Grant us today some new understanding of Your truth.

And fill our hearts with joy and gladness, that we may be a cup of strength to another suffering soul. Amen.”

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