Republican Gov. Mary Fallin of Oklahoma called on Christians to pray for the oil and natural gas industries on Oct. 6 as part of "Oilfield Prayer Day," which is on Oct. 13.
Fallin announced that she changed the proclamation to include "all faiths" on Oct. 10, notes The Associated Press:
There was some question about whether it was one particular faith or another, so we just amended it to say all faiths. There are many people suffering right now who have lost their jobs in the energy sector ... there are a lot of families who have been hurt, and I think prayer is always a good thing, for anyone.
The multi-billion dollar oil industry has slumped financially because of low oil prices on the world's free market.
Oil prayer proclamations have been around since 2011, but the Oilfield Christian Fellowship lobbied to get it changed in 2015: "Christians are invited to thank God for the blessings" created by the multibillion-dollar oil industry and to "seek His wisdom and ask for protection," and that oil and natural gas were "created by God," reports the AP.
Bruce Prescott, a retired minister, gave his take on Fallin's oil prayer: "That's a minister's responsibility. Another thing that's an irritant on that one — there are a lot of things that could be prayed about in this state, and the oil field is not at the top of that list."
The Baptist Messenger reported in September that Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma oilpatch chaplain Tom Beddow said: "The oilfield is experiencing an economic disaster with catastrophic impact on the industry. The most recognizable need is for the recovery of economic loss, but the greatest need in these depressive times is hope ... the hope that comes from God."
Ruth Milka of the Nation Of Change, an activist website, noted on Oct. 6:
The oil companies, to ensure their survival, have recruited church and community leaders to fill the heads of their followers with nonsense, connecting their religion with a greedy, corrupt industry which wants nothing more than to protect profit.
Perhaps it would be more prudent for Gov. Mary Fallin and the Republican-dominated legislature to stop praying to the oil industry and start passing laws to make their state’s oil billionaires pay their fair share of taxes.