Crime Plummeted After Prayer and Fasting – Intercessors for America

Washington, D.C., recently declared a state of emergency due to rising crime. But God has reversed the crime trend in D.C. before. Here is an excerpt from IFA’s upcoming book, Inspired Stories, which will be published this year. The excerpt is from the chapter titled D.C. Crime Rate Plummets.” Read on — and let your faith increase for this to happen again, not just in D.C., but also in all the American cities that are wracked with crime.

In January of 1990, IFA joined Together In Ministry (TIM) to spearhead a 90-hour prayer-and-fasting vigil during the first week of the year in the District of Columbia. Multiethnic assemblies convened each evening at historic churches. Much intercessory work concerning the city was done, leading to a “breakthrough” jubilee time at the close of the vigil. In mid-January, an intercessory prayer conference was convened at New Covenant Fellowship, in nearby Northern Virginia. The Lord assigned the group to bind “deception” in Washington. It was on that very night that then-Mayor Marion Barry was caught in the act of smoking crack cocaine and arrested. That day began a purging of corruption and a renewal of “good government” in our nation’s capital.

Dan Wedderburn, of the D.C. Human Rights Commission, wrote this in a Washington Post letter to the editor in May 2000:

Most people know that crime in New York City has declined dramatically in recent years. But how many know that crime in Washington has fallen just as dramatically?

Crime in the District of Columbia fell 32 percent from 1993 to 1998, and in 1999 it dropped an additional 14 percent, according to preliminary police figures. Thus, crime in the district has been nearly halved in the past six years.

Of more significance, violent crime-murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault-is down 60 percent. Remember DC’s nickname of “murder capital?” Well, the number of murders in the city dropped from 454 in 1993 to 232 last year. Rape in the District has fallen more than 40 percent, while aggravated assault and robberies are both down about 60 percent and burglaries by 70 percent.

The District’s precipitous drop in crime far exceeds the national average. Across the country, crime fell 12 percent from 1993 to 1998, while crime in Washington dropped 32 percent. The city’s reduced crime rate also compares favorably with crime-rate reduction in its suburbs of Montgomery, Prince George’s and Fairfax counties, where, during the same period of 1993 to 1998, crime fell 4 percent, 5 percent and 7 percent, respectively. …

What accounts for the significant reduction in crime in recent years? The reasons are unclear but appear to include the robust economy, low unemployment, fewer people in younger-age categories that account for a disproportionate share of crime, record high incarcerations and better policing strategies.

Other factors contributing to the District’s reduced crime are the significant decline in crack-cocaine trafficking and open-air drug markets, and the demolition of more than 1,500 units of public housing, the site of much violent crime. Of special note in the mix is the fact that the number of DC police officers declined 20 percent during the city’s dramatic reduction in crime, from 4,372 officers in 1993 to 3,488 at the end of October 1999. …

IFA began a monthly Washington Watch prayer effort in late 1992, just months before the noted drop in crime began. More than 5,000 intercessors subscribed to the alerts, which included prayer points related to D.C. officials, crime, and the police department.

A group of national leaders initiated a nationwide, 24-hour US/DC Prayer Watch in 1997, with at least one person interceding all the time for the nation’s capital; the top 120 civic officials; ambassadors and nations represented by embassies; pastors and church leaders; specific neighborhoods; and all of the city’s residents — and pages of the phone directory were mailed to everyone who signed up to pray. Several Christian members of Congress held weekly prayer meetings for D.C., and city leaders and pastors often participated. 

Scores of local congregations and various ministries held weekly prayer meetings for the city too. A 24-hour Capital Region Revival Prayer Watch offered year-round prayer in local churches.

Though Wedderburn wrote that the reasons for the historic drop in crime were unclear, it is likely that these concerted, united, persistent prayer efforts for Washington were among those reasons.

Set aside dedicated prayer time to intercede specifically for the crime rate in our nation’s capital and in your area, and reach out to other intercessors who will join you in those prayers.

Originally published by IFA in July 2000. Photo credit: Getty Images.