The Power of Prayer

5/3/2008 Fresno, CA After eight months of planning, people from about 150 area congregations joined together this week for 4 days of prayer activities including Saturday's event, where people fanned out to pray in every part of the city.

A van from Fresno's First Baptist church was just one of the church vehicles that spread throughout Fresno and Clovis Saturday taking hundreds to various spots to pray.

Willie Nolte, First Baptist Church, says "We're praying for our city. We want God to bless our city. We want our city to prosper, we want our city to be safe."

The idea of "Pray Fresno/Clovis" was to surround the area with prayer. It began Thursday, the national day of prayer, with a prayer service at city hall.

Saturday, church groups split a 66 mile boundary of the area into six areas. Then they spread out along the perimeter to offer songs and prayer.

Joy Nolte, First Baptist Church, says "We're not trying to protest anything or to say we're unhappy with Fresno. We love Fresno and Clovis and the surrounding areas. And we're just trying to say by our presence we pray for the community."

Participants could pray for anything, like the needs within specific areas and the community's needs as a whole.

Along the Herndon corridor some prayed for truck drivers who are battling rising fuel costs. Jacob Hitch, 14 years old, says "The things going on around here, the truckers and the businesses. The truckers bringing in their things and being prosperous."

Organizers say they hope to turn "Pray Fresno/Clovis" into a movement instead of a single event. Those who participated Saturday say they're counting on the power of prayer to change Fresno for the better.

Gabe Yanez, 14 years old, says "It makes me feel good. Because I know I'm doing my part. And as much as a can. With everyone else, it can all add up."

The four day event wraps up Sunday, during regular services at churches throughout Fresno.

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