In Winnipeg, Man., just as in many other North American cities, racism, gang activity, and crime have driven a wedge between the police force and civilians. Church members across the city have responded with prayer.
Over 50 churches in the city of Winnipeg are assigned a week of the year to focus on praying specifically for the needs of the police force. Good News Fellowship recently concluded their week of prayer.
John Parsons, a member of Good News Fellowship, heard about it. “It was real opportunity for a city-wide initiative of prayer,” he said.
Churches representing different races and socioeconomic backgrounds have been able to come together and pray for a reduction of crime, the justice system, victims, and the personal lives of police officers. John’s wife, Linda, said, “The main thing that encouraged me is being able to work with other churches. Not being a stand-alone church . . . really boosts our faith.”
The children of Good News Fellowship received their own kid-friendly prayer guide and were encouraged to pray for the police officers in their own way. The prayer guide was created by Sunday school teachers at Good News Fellowship and has been used by other churches participating in the prayer campaign. “The children have a heart to pray for the police force,” Linda said. “Even after we finish, the children want to continue praying.”
Those who prayed for the Winnipeg police have witnessed a steady decrease in crime since the campaign began in 2013. “That has been encouraging to see our prayers having an effect,” said John.
The 365 Prayer Campaign was started by Devon Clunis, recently retired chief of police in Winnipeg.