Youth pastors are known for fostering faith into the lives of teens and young adults. But one faith leader is taking his Christ-fueled message on the road – literally. Pastor Brad Weaver of Freedom Baptist Fellowship in Wilmot, Ohio, is planning to pedal his way across the United States through an initiative he created called “Praying Across America.”
As he stops in various cities across the nation, Weaver will take time each night to hold prayer ralliesat local churches. His overall goal? To encourage the people he meets to tap into the power of prayer. Weaver will depart for the voyage on Memorial Day weekend in Nags Head, North Carolina, and he will finish his mission in Huntington Beach, California, in late July.
IndeOnline.com has more about the voyage that Weaver is planning to set out on:
The idea for Praying Across America was planted in Weaver’s mind last summer while he was relaxing during his family’s annual vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Weaver, who works as a processor at Shearer’s Foods Millennium Manufacturing Plant in Massillon, said he felt convicted about the need to improve his own prayer life after reading a book titled “The Power of Prayer” by R.A. Torrey, an American pastor and evangelist during the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“People do rides to raise awareness for certain causes. I thought, ‘What better thing to do than to raise awareness for prayer,’ ” Weaver said.
The prayer meetings will consist of 20 minutes of prayer for national concerns and 20 minutes of prayer for the individual needs in each congregation. Weaver already has eight or nine meetings scheduled, including a June speaking engagement at Shiloh Baptist Church in Missouri, the church he attended as a youth. Besides holding prayer meetings, Weaver will be sharing his faith by handing out 4x6 cards that encourage others to seek a relationship with Jesus Christ.
“I am just an average American man. I have a loving wife, two beautiful children, a fat cat (no dog), and a 40-50 hour a week job,” Weaver writes on the web site he setup for the project. “I have had a desire to bike across this beautiful country for some time but never thought this would be possible for quite a few years…through some amazing things that happened, God has opened up the door for me to fulfill this goal of mine and raise awareness for prayer.”
A route, complete with dates and maps, is presented on Weaver's web site:
This massive undertaking will certainly be a challenge -- both physically, mentally and financially -- for the father of two. But one of Weaver's main concerns -- his ability to secure his salary during the two-month prayer journey -- has been tempered, as Bob Shearer, the CEO of Shearer’s Foods, has agreed to continue paying him throughout the bike ride.
Others, too, have stepped up to help make the initiative happen. From web design services to supplies needed during the trip, many individuals have been coming forward to assist in Weaver's mission (although he still needs to raise more funds). The youth pastor, of course, believes that the support he's receiving corroborates the notion that this trip is God-ordained.
"One of the biggest things I learned was don’t pray too small," Weaver said in an interview with IndeOnline.com. "God has blessed me so greatly. I have nothing to complain about."
In order to prepare for the cross-country mission, Weaver is also working out and biking heavily in the days leading up to his departure. You can follow his workout routine and many of the associated details on his Twitter feed.
Find out more about the bike ride and how you can get involved in making prayer rallies happen with Weaver in your community on the Praying Across America web site.