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.

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