Many faith-based volunteer organizations that began with the aim of ensuring the election of President Barack Obama disbanded after Election Day.
A group called The World Changers, however, is still holding its monthly prayer service on the New Covenant Church’s Mount Airy campus, where it gathered Saturday, April 12, on the lower level of Grannum Hall at 7300 Germantown Ave. On rotating Saturday afternoons, members gather to pray for the safety of the president and his family, and to open the hearts of elected officials — especially those in Congress — to the plight of struggling citizens.
The group’s founder, Verileah Teets of Horsham, stressed that despite the U. S. Supreme Court’s decision to allow wealthy donors to give unlimited resources to campaigns and the U. S. House’s failure to pass another extension on federal unemployment, justice could be served through prayer.
The congregation offered up three main prayers at its April meeting. The first was for the scattering of the “evil forces” that seek to perpetuate injustice. Secondly, the group offered prayers to “break the generational curse of racism and classism” that permeates society. Finally, World Changers prayed that mass incarceration, which has hit the African-American community particularly hard, will turn into a mass revival.
“We have to pray for an end to all bigotry,” Teets said. “We recognize that this is a defect in our society. The sin of racism and all bigotry needs to be addressed. We have to pray that like Mary did in Luke 1:46. Because she prayed that her spirit was overjoyed in the Lord.”
“When you read Isaiah 54:7 it shows that we must pray that any weapon used against you will be turned around,” Teets continued. “So, those who are in high places, even in the Supreme Court or the Congress, who have intentions to hurt the poor, the downtrodden, who won’t (reinstate) unemployment extensions, who are seeking to take away voting rights, who are still trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act will not succeed.”
Martha Bernardino of Mount Airy said that the group should also pray for young African-American males, especially in the state of Florida. She brought news clippings of hate crimes being committed against Black boys and statistics about the lengthy jail sentencing that did not match the crimes some have committed.
“This is about social and economic justice in our community,” Bernardino said. “So we must pray that the Holy Spirit defeats this because this is a travesty against our young men, because this is hurting our families.”
Poet Flora Jackson said a prison revival would be a great blessing for the African-American community. Prayers went up that those with unjust sentences return to their families, neighborhoods and churches in mass with a renewed spirit.
Brenda J. Thomas of Germantown said that her thoughts were with those who are in distress because of the current economic crisis or disease. She and others shared examples such as people in hospice care and African Americans who are part of the rising rate in joblessness.
“That’s why my heart was impressed to share Psalms 77:1,” Thomas said. “In this scripture it shows that if we cry out to God he will hear us. In these times we must rely on God. That’s why it’s importance for us to come pray together like this. Our prayers have great power.”
Though the group usually meets on the fourth or fifth Saturday of every month, during April it plans to meet twice because of pressing prayer needs. Thus, the next World Changes through Prayer session will be held on Saturday, April 26 at noon. For more information contact Teets at 215-738-1373.