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Chicago clergy and civic leaders celebrate National Day of Prayer

Chicago leaders celebrate National Day of Prayer
Chicago leaders celebrate National Day of Prayer 02:13

CHICAGO (CBS) — Religious leaders across Chicago called on worshippers to use the power of prayer to improve their communities, including one event on Chicago's South Side.

Just about every faith leader from the Englewood community showed up for the National Day of Prayer on Thursday. 

Those believers were present in chairs as if they were pews.

"Someone asked why we were coming outside instead of inside. They thought we were going to a church, and we thought it would be necessary to come outside. Bring prayer outside," said one faith leader. 

One prayer service was held under the trees of Moran Park in the heart of Englewood. But the history behind the park remains scarred. Some residents once called it "murder park."

However, on Thursday, in addition to faith leaders, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and 16th Ward Alderman Stephanie Coleman were also present.

And Mayor Johnson came with prayers of his own.

"We are praying for our city to be united, for real community safety, for real investments, and most of all, I think we are praying for our young people," Johnson said.

The mayor said a new community safety plan focusing on Englewood, Austin, Little Village, and Garfield Park would bring critical investments in moving these communities forward.

"Making these investments is key to how we transform the city—investments in mental health, investments in hiring more young people," Johnson said.

Investments that leave this community leaning on faith as they hope for a better tomorrow.

"It is prayer that brings transformation," Johnson said. 

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