CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Thursday was the one day this year that people all over the country brought their "pray"-game to the table.
Dozens of volunteers working with CIRV, or Cincinnati Initiative To Reduce Violence, are taking their prayers into troubled neighborhoods.
Concerned clergy in Avondale used this National Day of Prayer to launch their own local initiative called the "Increase The Peace" campaign.
They started their mission in the Avondale City Center, the heart of the community.
"God has already got the word moving out," said Pastor Ennis Tait, President of the Avondale Concerned Clergy.
He said they are thankful for the challenge.
"We're not afraid to go out on the street and minister the word of god, we're not afraid to talk about Jesus," Tait said.
They started in Avondale, but said there are problems citywide.
"There's Walnut Hills, there's Evanston, there's Price Hill, all the seven hills, so we want God to just bless our effort," Tait said.
Mikela Foster lives in the Oakley-Hyde Park area.
"Now I'm starting to see every night when I come home school there's been a lot of drug dealers coming in and out of our neighborhood that don't live there," Foster said.
Pastor Hal McIntosh said CIRV pin-pointed areas where gunfire is no stranger to anyone's ears and would be safe during the early evening hours to venture into.
"So they've got outreach teams going in to actually meet one on one with the people," McIntosh said.
Then prayer teams move in and pray for and with whomever they meet.
"Does anybody find that odd that you're stopping and saying hey, can I pray for you? We have prayed right after gang violence," McIntosh said.
"Usually people ask the question, why are you doing what you're doing," McIntosh said. "I tell them because God loves you," No matter what their circumstances he said.
"You go up to a gang guy and ask if he wants prayer they'll all want prayer for safety," he said.
"That was good," said Ericka Harris. "I liked that, we need more of that."
Harris was approached, stopped to pray and asked God for strength.
"We ask that you will come and give her even more strength," McIntosh prayed. "More wisdom than she's ever known."
"I need that," Harris said. "That just started my day, it made my day." We asked he why she'd prayed for strength? "To get through everyday life and to survive out here," she said.
But is prayer alone enough?
"Absolutely not," Tait said. "It's gonna take building relationships with individuals that are actually in those hotspots, whether they be drug dealers, gang bangers just letting them know there is hope."
Tait said me their goal is to be consistent, and by that he means, they will keep on going into those hotspot areas, keep on praying for peace and for people.
Prayer teams collected prayer requests from people they met and they'll say those prayers the first Saturday of every month.
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