Over 1,000 Christians Gather To Pray as Riots Continue Across the Country


There is an immense amount of noise in the world right now.

At first, people were yelling at others to wear a mask while others yelled back that it was an infringement on their freedom. Not long after that, people began yelling to shut down more and more businesses while others argued that to do so would cause irreparable damage to our economy.

But then the videos of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd went viral within weeks of each other, and the country erupted in an even louder cry.

Protesters swarmed streets and rioters came behind them, damaging police stations and local businesses.

You see, noise is a funny thing. When it’s present, it’s often more difficult to hear important things like truth and love.

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But on Tuesday night, a group of over 1,000 Christians gathered in downtown Phoenix in hopes of breaking through the noise to seek the mercy of God.

They didn’t come armed with bricks or torches as some rioters across the country have. Instead, they came armed with prayer and broken hearts for the current state of our country and our world.

Their humility spoke louder than any other chant.

“I think a lot of times we tend to be more focused on what we’re against as the church when really we’re called to be for Jesus and for his ways and not against the world. And so what does it look like to be a people who are for our brothers and sisters who are experiencing injustices?” Kimberly Deckel, one of the leaders of the event, told The Western Journal.

Would you like to see more gatherings like this across the country?

“The church should be present in this. We should be present in all of life,” she continued.

The crowd gathered at Neighborhood Ministries, an inner-city ministry dedicated to meeting “basic necessities of life” for those living in poverty, and walked 0.7 miles to the Arizona State Capitol building.

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Once there, several church leaders from across the state spoke and led the crowd in a series of prayers and worship songs.

Songs such as “Break Every Chain” by United Pursuit, “Way Maker” by Sinach and “All the Poor and Powerless” by All Sons & Daughters echoed throughout downtown as the crowd sang together.

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The event stayed peaceful and ended at 7:30 p.m. to allow attendees enough time to get home before the the state-mandated curfew went into effect.

“I think sometimes we — it’s such a simple thing — we forget the importance of praying and gathering together to do that,” Deckel told The Western Journal. “Just, yeah, the power of being a collective witness and praying and crying out together to show we are in solidarity with those who are suffering.”

Dennae Pierre, another leader of the event, told The Western Journal that while there are no specific plans to organize another prayer and lament event, the organizers hope Tuesday night’s event will spark a new season of reflection and confession.

“What does it look like — where the world is very, very angry — to be a peaceful presence and to come alongside people who are tired?” she said.

She added that pastors across the city have committed to “follow Jesus and be a presence in the pain points in our city and the suffering of people in our city.”

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Kayla has been a staff writer for The Western Journal since 2018.
Kayla Kunkel began writing for The Western Journal in 2018.
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