As the number of COVID cases soars in Louisiana, state Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) is putting his faith in the power of prayer and fasting to slow the spread of the virus.
"I believe very strongly in the power of prayer, and there are thousands of people right now in Louisiana who need to be lifted up in prayer," Edwards said in a recent statement. "So I hope you will join your prayers to mine for healing and protection."
The governor said he reached out to "hundreds of ministers and pastors" throughout the state, asking them to be a part of the movement and to extend the invitation to "anyone and everyone who is so inclined, no matter their religious beliefs."
Edwards said he would pray for those impacted by the disease, the medical professionals working on the front lines and for the school system as the academic year begins.
The initiative was planned for Aug. 9 through Aug. 11.
This is not the first time the governor has called on the Almighty for help in the fight against COVID-19.
In a July 16, 2020 press conference, Edwards asked all residents of the Pelican State to join him in three days of lunch fasting and prayer beginning July 20 through July 22.
He called for fasting and prayer for those who are sick, the caretakers, and for the families of those who have died from the coronavirus.
Last March, Edwards and his wife also observed a day of prayer and fasting, while inviting others to participate.
The governor prayed "for comfort to those that have lost a loved one to COVID-19, the complete recovery of those that have tested positive, and that God will, as He has done before, heal His people and our land."
In addition to prayer and fasting, Edwards is asking for all Louisianans to get vaccinated and to wear a mask whenever they are indoors or out in the public.