Prayer walks held to end violence in Houston

April 23, 2011 5:27:39 PM PDT
Houstonians are standing together in prayer, hoping to stop violence. They say recent shootings have compelled them to come forward, and they're praying for a change.

One after another, dozens of people prepared for what they called a serious mission on the hot and humid streets of Houston: a day of prayer.

With heads bowed, hands locked and armed with spiritual words, about 150 people from several area churches joined together at different meeting places Saturday in unified prayer against economic issues, violence and other problems plaguing the community.

They have declared a "code blue" emergency and vowed to take aggressive action.

We caught up with one group in the Sunnyside area.

"Today, we just want God just to rain in because he said if we plant the seed, he will water and give the increase. So that's what we are going to do. Plant the seeds in the community of safety and protection," Houston City Councilmember Wanda Adams said.

The prayer groups took a special path around Worthing High School, especially near the school football field. It was the scene of a tragic shooting last month that killed an 18-year-old former student. Police believe it was gang-related.

Saturday, the group clutched hands with residents at an apartment complex nearby -- the place where some people saw the tragedy unfold.

Residents there say prayers are welcome in their neighborhood.

Most definitely," one resident said. "Prayer is always necessary."

Barber is a former Houston Oiler football player, and a minister himself. He came out to show his support. He says it's time the community takes a spiritual stand to save the community.

"I think God has blessed us with some things and I think we can be a blessing here and reach these kids that are making wrong decisions and be an example that says, 'You know what, I don't need to do that,'" Barber said.

Other ministers held similar prayer walks at seven other locations throughout the city.

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