The photos and articles below were prepared by Dion Elmore, National Day of Prayer Task Force, Colorado Springs. Lori Wagner, State Coordinator, represented Michigan at the Illionis events.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD ON THE SOUTHSIDE (Chicago, IL) - Making our way north from Indianapolis, IN, we stopped in to make some new friends in Terre Haute, which is the home of Harvest Prayer Ministries, The Open Door Christian Store, and Maryland Community Church. There was a very warm welcome from the Open Door Christian Store, where we had the opportunity to set up our tent and table, once again, and to share and pray with all those that came by!
After interviews by two local television stations, we met for prayer and worship with the Maryland Community Church family. We can’t thank them enough for their hospitality and their heart for prayer. A light is burning brightly in Terre Haute!
A few miles further north and we pulled into Generation to Generation Church on the Southside of Chicago where we were met by God’s people who had come from more than a dozen churches in the area, along with several of our key prayer coordinators from Illinois and Michigan.
After meeting our hosts and setting up our tents and tables, we were swept into almost five hours of fellowship, worship, and prayer! As we prayed against the strongholds of gangs, drugs, and alcohol in the lives of the people in these neighborhoods, men spontaneously came forward to testify that they had been delivered from these things, and they began to cry out with repentant hearts for their community!
Men and women came forward and prayed for families and against the destructive power of divorce and abandonment. They prayed against abuse, and for the hearts and minds of the children who have had to experience the pain of these things in their lives!
Pastors came forward from ‘every nation, tribe, and tongue’, and cried out for unity in the body of Christ in this city! Heartfelt cries repenting for the divisiveness that they felt has plagued the churches in Chicago. It was a powerful, powerful time of prayer!
Afterwards, as we fellowshipped, many continued to ask for prayer, and several pastors and leaders shared that they had NEVER, in all of their years in Chicago, experienced the body of Christ coming together like this – rallying in one voice to pray for their community, and to pray for America! To God be all of the glory!
THE POWER OF PRAYER IN THE PROJECTS (Chicago, IL) - After our time of prayer yesterday at Generation to Generation church, two more churches joined together with the National Day of Prayer Team for an outreach in the park. As we pulled the bus up next to Garfield Park, we realized that where God had mobilized us to go was right in the middle of some of the project housing in Chicago – a community broken by poverty and high crime. You could see people looking out through their barred windows, wondering what the big bus was about.
As car after car converged on the street, tents and tables were set up, signs were brought out, and the worship band from the churches began to fill the air with songs of praise to our God. Pastor Steve Stultz began the outreach by inviting everyone within earshot to ‘come out, have some food, and get some prayer’.
More people began to emerge from the apartments and houses. Some came out on their balconies to see what was going on, while others made their way down to street where we were. As the worship band played, the atmosphere in the area shifted. The clouds that had been overhead parted and the warm sunshine began to break through. Children came for balloons and hot dogs and the area where we had set up came alive with people.
At one point, we were asked to go across the street to one of the apartment complexes where they said that, for the last ten years, one of the largest gangs in Chicago held their initiation ceremonies, drawing young men into lives of crime, drugs, death, and destruction. As we walked through the complex, two security guards paused and asked us, “Do you realize where you are?” and then explained that this was an extremely dangerous place for us to be. We let them know that we realized that, but that we were here to pray with people and the Lord was taking care of us!
As we gathered around a concrete pad in the courtyard they call ‘the hole’, people again watched with curiosity as we prayed for the Lord to break the influence and affect of these gangs in this area, and in the city of Chicago. We may never know the impact of that powerful prayer this side of heaven, but we realize that many of the young adults and children that we prayed over, will never have to experience the bondage and oppression of ‘gangsterism’ because of those prayers!