You don't hear them say much.
Their words aren't really audible at times because they speak so softly. Occasionally you hear “God” or “Lord,” but that's about it.
You don't hear them say much.
Their words aren't really audible at times because they speak so softly. Occasionally you hear "God" or "Lord," but that's about it.
As they whisper and mouth their words they glide their hands across the walls, lockers and cafeteria tables. Each little thing they touch gets a blessing and a prayer.
These are Dixie Forte's prayer warriors. Ever since law was passed to allow praying in public schools, Forte, a well-known Hannibal religious leader, has coordinated school prayers where she and others walk the halls praying privately in each wing, in front of each classroom door sending requests to their higher power.
"We started out trying to get people to come on board because there hasn't been prayer in school in years. We still haven't got people to recognize that is a need and that we can do it," Forte said. "Some people have said no, they haven't heard of the law passing in Missouri that we could pray in schools."
Forte and a handful of her warriors met at Hannibal High School Tuesday morning to begin a prayer crusade that also included Hannibal Middle School and Veterans Elementary.
Floor by floor from end to end they all traveled the hallways that have been darkened by summer vacation and energy saving efforts. Usually crowded by students making their way from class to class, the halls are filled with classroom furniture as each room is cleaned after nine months of activity.
Cindy Young is one of Forte's prayer warriors. For years now she has been searching for her missing daughter, Christina Young. Over this time, Cindy says her faith has increased.
"It's because of what I've been through. I've got a stronger faith now than I ever have in my entire life. It's so important that we pray for these kids because there's so much bad in the schools. This is very, very important," Cindy Young said. "When you lay your hands and pray for God and praise God, and ask him to bless these students; and keep the drugs out, keep the sex out, alcohol, suicides, bullying and fighting. I pray for all that, that it won't be allowed in this school this year. It's gone, we're casting it out."
Forte said it is things like bullying and struggles that can be helped through the power of prayer.
"The students need to be prayed for. The teachers need to be prayed for. The principals need to be prayed for. There are a lot of things going on in the schools with the students that need to be addressed," Forte said. "God, he wants us all to pray. All he wants us to do is ask him. He wants us to talk to him and he wants us to pray. He instituted prayer, that's what's so important. If we don't pray, things are not going to come through. That's what happened when prayer was taken out of schools. We got to let people know how important prayer is."