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Power of Prayer

Charles Lyons, Pastor of Chicago's Armitage Baptist Church, offers an example of the power of prayer: "During the 1980s the OA gang dominated our area. We created a prayer patrol of three or four teams of two men each. These were men with street savvy, men who knew the language and weren't intimidated easily.

"Normally when a gang hangs out on a corner, nobody goes near them. Once a young man puts on the colors, the only adult that may ever speak to him again is a police detective. With the gang watching every car, keeping an eye out for drive-bys, our prayer patrols would slow down and find a place to park. Then the patrol would do the unheard of: walk right up and start talking to the gang.

"I'm Al, this is Moses, and we're from Armitage Baptist. We're the prayer patrol. How ya' doin'? Is there anything we can pray about with you? Baby sick? Brother in jail? Can we pray for you?"

"These patrolmen then put their hands on the shoulders of these lost kids and prayed for them. In time, the gangs got to know and respect our prayer patrols.

"The OAs had called our block their headquarters for 20 years. Today, the OAs are gone. The gang was overcome by the power of prayer."

 - Charles Lyons, "The Prayer Hood," Leadership (Fall 2001), p. 68