Many turn to the power of prayer following violent week in Memphis

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- The recent mob violence at Poplar Plaza and a Memphis firefighter wanted in the domestic violence murder of his ex-girlfriend are examples of what some call tragic signs of the time.

Tracy Bethea is the program and music director at radio station Hallelujah FM 95.7. She says these and other problems show Memphis is in dire need of prayer.

"Hallelujah FM sees the need for prayer in our city. Our city is in need of help and we saw a need here at Hallelujah FM  to be a beacon of light and do more than play gospel music, but come into the community and ask for an hour of prayer," Bethea said.

The radio station declared Thursday a "Hallelujah Day of Prayer." Hundreds came to World Overcomers Outreach Ministries Church on Winchester.

Many people, like Joyce Jackson, got on their knees, and others raised their hands, hoping for solutions.

"It's painful too to see such violence and people hurting people and we need prayer," Jackson said.

They were also moved by music and the message of spiritual leaders such as the Reverend Keith Norman of First Baptist Church-Broad.

"We are your people, Dear God, and you have invested the power of prayer in us and you have declared if your people will call by your name and simply humble ourselves and pray," Norman said.

While many admit prayer is needed, they also say families, churches, and the city need to work side-by-side to curb violence, especially for teens.

Bobby White is Memphis Mayor A C Wharton's Chief of Staff.

"Because these young people belong to someone family, a member of someone's church, neighbors and friends of people we know. I think the thing is for us to basically look in the mirror and what can we do to play some role in this larger issue rather than pointing the finger elsewhere," White said.

It why individuals, pastors, and community leaders came together for one hour in prayer, which some hope will led to a lifetime of change.

"Prayer can change things and people need to understand that the power of prayer still works.," Bethea said.


  • Teresa

    Prayer is not what is needed. You have to take action to control this crime and it needs to start now. Hiding in church’s and praying is going to do nothing for what is happening in the streets. It is time each community take back what is rightly ours. Pick up the phone and report thugs, drug dealers, illegal aliens, child molesters, anyone and any thing that is doing illegal acts. It is time we gather together and clean up each of our communities and do it in a joint effort. Plus all these parent(s) need to finally get control of their children and make them mind and get a education. This is only a few small steps that need to be taken first and then on to our local government and start cleaning house there as well.

    • Hunter

      You couldn’t clean up this city with hot soapy bleach water. If Detroit is the devils den then Memphis is the devils front yard.

  • Frank Stone

    I don’t think prayer is going to do anything for this city’s problems. I believe the city had it’s best days and things will continue to progressively get worse. Criminals rule this city , not the mayor , not the blind police department, not the citizens , it’s a ugly city. I’m in a better position to take a loss on my home than some folks and that’s just what I am doing. I’d burn it down but , I’m not a criminal. Happiness is Memphis in your rear view mirror.

  • Tom Emerson

    Prayer is exactly what the city of Memphis needs on a regular basis. This is the only starting point to bring healing to the city of Memphis. Then actions need to be taken. These teens are too old for parent/s to get control of them. Honestly, that is why all pastors and Christians need to meet and pray for God’s wisdom. Not only the Christian community in all of Memphis, but also all the Mayor’s office, county commissioners, U.S. and sate representives, surrounding mayors and respected leaders of this vast community, and I dare say our sitting U.S. Senators, all need to meet together, pray and devise the best plan and targeted solution they develop. Then act on the plan. Don’t just walk away with a plan and bury it. The leaders of the city of Memphis and Shelby County must take responsibility of their actions and laws they are so eager to develop and pass when some of those laws and decisions just hurt the community.
    There is hope for a better, safer, friendlier Memphis, TN. If we want such a city, we must be willing to sacrifice some of our time to commit as citizens of Memphis, toward this goal. It is not too late, nor has the city of Memphis and Shelby County gone too far in a negative direction that is not salvageable. Regardless of citizens not believing in the power of prayer; regardless of some citizens not believing in God or/and a better and healed city of Memphis, God the Creator of Heaven and Earth is just waiting for the opportunity to demonstrate His Great Love for all Memphians. We have the responsibility and command to, and I use the word (fight) in a positive way, for the freedom of this city from all the evil that we are accustomed to hearing and reading about daily. Do we need any more curses, any more murders, any more riots to move us toward God? I say no.
    Tea Party Candidate for U.S. Senate.

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