Governor Reynolds.

Governor Kim Reynolds has declared today as a “Day of Prayer” in Iowa “in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Now, more than ever, we should pray for each other,” Reynolds said. “Pray for your neighbor. Pray for all in need of aid and those on the frontlines in delivering it.”

Reynolds made remarks by video during the 59th annual Iowa Prayer Breakfast. For the first time ever, the event was held entirely online this morning.

“Prayer has always been a big part of who I am, but I have to tell you never has it been as important or as powerful for me as it is today in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic,” Reynolds said.

In announcing her “Day of Prayer” proclamation, Reynolds noted today is the start of the Jewish festival of Passover and is Maundy Thursday in the Christian tradition’s Holy Week.

“Whether we are on the front lines in delivering health care to sick people, at home doing the right thing and socially distancing to slow the spread or involved in making decision, we are all children of God and need to let our faith in him be our guide,” Reynolds said in her video message.

Jim Garlow

The featured speaker at today’s Iowa Prayer Breakfast was Jim Garlow, an evangelical leader from San Diego, California. His video address began by acknowledging the coronavirus “has altered all our lives.” Garlow urged viewers of the event to use their time of isolation to de-clutter their lives.

“You’re being called during this time to pray — you, to pray,” he said, “and to stand between the living and the death and help stop this plague.”

The Interfaith Alliance of Iowa is criticizing Governor Reynolds for declaring today a day of prayer in Iowa. The group’s executive director said while many Iowans are people of faith who do pray, it’s inappropriate for elected officials to promote any particular religious practice.