Some Christians in Youngstown, Ohio, are taking a unique approach to solving local, national and global problems. Rather than focusing solely on politics and earthly remedies, community and religious leaders are coming together and using prayer as a tool for change.
On Saturday, the City Prayer Team held its first Regional Conference of Intercessors at Williamson Elementary School. In an effort to see positive change unfold, those involved plan to target four, key issues through prayer: world affairs, banking and finances, churches and the mayor's office.
Linda Daniels, the group's co-founder and a public school teacher, explains that 2012 is an important year and that it's necessary for the group to come together to prepare. "We we will not let our fate be decided by forces that are not of God," she explained. Thus, the group City Prayer Team will assemble regularly to pray and intercede until next November's election.
Earlier this summer, the prayer team was also very active in getting the word out about their beliefs, while praying diligently for community members. In July, the Prayer Team held an outreach, hoping that they could help stem the high crime rate in the area. The group gave out Bibles and engaged citizens in prayer. It is prayer, they say, that the power to transform the community.
When describing the effort, Daniels said, "We're trying to reach as many households as we can, as many families, as many people as we can in the community to let them know we need to return to the foundation, and that is prayer and God's word."
In March, the group also fundraised $2,000 and subsequently distributed 1,000 Bibles in the community. Members then went door-to-door asking local residents if they wanted the Bibles (and, of course, offered them for free to those in the community).
"Many people don’t have Bibles, and this is a way to get Bibles to them. We believe in the transforming power of the word of God,” Daniels said of the outreach.
“It’s important to get the word of God into people’s homes. There are moral values in the Bible that teach,” she continued. “The Bible teaches values and principles through stories that you don’t find anywhere else.”
Whether or not one agrees with their theology, Daniels and her fellow Christians are living out their words -- and doing so consistently. God's intervention, they believe, is the only viable solution to their community's many problems.