Prayer Convoy: Local Church Combines Transportation and Technology to Pray for Ava Businesses and Residents

Michael Boyink/Herald Last Sunday afternoon, members of the Ava Assembly of God Church lined up in the high school parking lot before leaving on a rolling prayer tour around Ava. Participants in the parade used smartphones to connect and pray for the city, local businesses and families. The event was streamed live on Facebook for others to enjoy.

by Michael Boyink / mike@douglascountyherald.com

‘Cause we got a mighty convoy

Rockin’ through the night

Yeah, we got a mighty convoy

Ain’t she a beautiful sight?

Chip Davis / William Fries

© Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Maybe you are old enough to remember the 1975 C.W. McCall song Convoy.

In the mid-70’s life was different.  C.B. Radios were popular. An oil crisis had inflated the cost of gasoline. Speed limits had been reduced to 55 MPH to save energy.

Truckers were known to group up into convoys. They could run faster and more efficiently as a group. They could also use the convoy to protest threats to their existence.

It’s a bit different, here in 2020. Smartphones, internet, and group-video chat have replaced C.B. Radio. Gas prices are lower than many of us have ever seen.

But there is still power in a group.

The folks at Ava Assembly of God decided that a convoy still made sense.

Not to protest.

To pray.

Drivers and passengers in approximately 40 vehicles gathered in the Ava High School parking lot last Sunday afternoon.

The convoy rolled out around 5:00 P.M., driving north and traveling around the Emerson plant.

Convoy participants used a group video chat tool, which was also livestreamed on Facebook.

They rolled past the Ava Ambulance shed, then back west to loop through the J. Brothers Hardware store parking lot.

On the streets of Ava, the group was restrained. There was no honking of horns or shouting from the passengers.

In many places oncoming traffic pulled over, possibly thinking this was a funeral procession.

Michael Boyink/Herald
Oncoming traffic often pulled over to allow the convoy to pass.
Michael Boyink/Herald
The convoy gets cheered on by a spectator.

Online, however, people from different vehicles took turns praying for the people and businesses the convoy was driving past.

Pulling back onto Springfield Road, the group drove east then turned right on Lyle Street, taking them past the Ava Place Senior Living Center.  

Then by the Post Office, through the Square and left by City Hall. Up the hill, left again and back through the Square again. 

The group finally headed south out of town and zig-sagging up the hill to the Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare facility.

Michael Boyink/Herald
The convoy heads up the hill by Heart of the Ozarks Healthcare.

The convoy parked at HOTO and  enjoyed a socially-distanced worship service.

Michael Boyink/Herald
After parking, the church held a socially-distanced worship service in the HOTO parking lot.

 “I was very humbled by the prayer tour and the participation,” said Ava Assembly of God Senior Paster Buddy Boyd. “Praying over the local businesses and economic health of Douglas County was an honor. Pastor Oren delivered a powerful & timely message at the nursing home.”

A recording of the event can be viewed on Facebook: facebook.com/avaassembly.