Earlier this year,
an urban church in Bristol, England, developed an interesting response to the
high crime rate in its neighborhood. It developed “Prayer Patrols”
that take place three times daily. Volunteers walk through the streets, knocking
on doors, collecting prayer requests, and praying with the inhabitants. Police
officials say that the number of robberies has been reduced by 51 percent and
burglaries are down by 21 percent. City officials say that prayer has broken
the “siege mentality” that had gripped the neighborhood as a result
of gang warfare.

 – Turning Point Daily Devotional, 10/15/03


View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.

Share This On:

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


View more sermon illustrations for inspiration for your next message.

Share This On: