Prayer requests piling up in Allentown

May 26, 2009 4:27:58 PM PDT
They are pinned to a cross outside a neighborhood church.

And there's the promise that they will be treated with utmost seriousness.

It started as a Holy Week project. Officials from Zion's Reformed United Church of Christ erected a burlap-covered cross in front of the sanctuary and left note cards, a pencil, and push pins, so anyone with a prayer request could write it down and tack it up.

They planned on taking the whole thing down on Easter, but it didn't work out that way.

"The response was overwhelming," said Pastor Bob Stevens. "We had 70 or 75 different requests that first week, and then decided to keep it up until Pentecost, which is this coming Sunday."

People from all walks of life just keep coming. In fact, hundreds of prayer requests have since been pulled down and given to church volunteers who have committed to praying over each and every slip.

Sometimes, parishioners like Linda Salomon come and do it in person. "I feel that when I'm praying, I'm coming along side of them," she said. "I don't know them, but I'm coming along side of them spiritually."

Many of those who come to the prayer cross need a job. Others write that they need help getting off the streets.

Carmin Crespo is going through a private family tragedy and believes that another person's prayers will give her something that's been in short supply in her life: "Hope," she said. "Hope and a renewed effort on my part just to keep going and to know that whatever it is that's going on, everything is going to be okay."

Church officials now they say they will maintain the prayer cross as long as those requests keep coming in.

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