A Christian pastor grieved by the violence and chaos in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is in the midst of a major prayer effort he believes can help heal his community.
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Bishop Dwight Pate, 68, of Church Point Ministries is known for turning to God to help heal social ills. And with crime rising since COVID-19, he is again seeking the Lord for a miracle.
“It’s impossible for someone to really be sincere about seeking God but not drawing other men and women to pray,” Pate recently told WAFB-TV.
And prayer is the tool he’s turning to amid cultural chaos.
For the past three months, Pate has been inside a prayer room, a former car dealership he bought in 1981. He later built it into a prayer space, locking himself inside in 1994 during another difficult season of drugs and crime, WAFB-TV reported.
The preacher told the outlet he believes crime and other issues can only be solved through faith.
He spent nearly eight months inside the prayer room in the 1990s. Again, he opened the room in 2000 and 2014 — and, once more, he’s been locked away since May offering intense invocations.
“The only place it can be solved is in the church,” Pate said. “And the teaching and the loving of God’s people.”
Watch the preacher share his passion for prayer:
Pate added his belief “prayer can change the hearts of the individuals” responsible for the chaos.
He plans to give away 200,000 bottles of holy oil — and has no plans to leave the prayer room until he feels God gives him a sign to do so. Pate believes the effort will spark true change.
“There’s going to be such a move of God among people,” he told WAFB-TV. “There’s going to be such a move of some of the most violent people in this city instead of going out killing, robbing and hurting people bringing peace and joy and victory and forgiveness and love that you’re going to have to come out and report it.”
Pate has a reason for that faithful optimism, as he’s seen prostitutes, addicts, and others find healing through his ministry over the years. He believes God led him to create the prayer room to positively impact his neighborhood and city.
“I heard the voice of the Lord, and he said he wanted to give me this little building at 700 Scenic Highway to start the first prayer line where people could call in and pray 24 hours a day,” he told The Advocate. “He told me he was going to reach the city through that little building.”
Pate continued, “We started ministering to prostitutes and addicts. Anyone that was would pass by. People thought I was crazy. Eventually, the chairs started filling up. … So many people started coming, they wouldn’t leave.”
Read more about the story here.
This story has been corrected to note Pate will distribute holy oil, not water.
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