'Operation Iraqi Prayer'

The Early Show: priest lights candles
CBS/The Early Show
Over the weekend, many Americans used the power of prayer to deal with the war in Iraq. And in some cases, people of different faiths even came together to pray for peace, The Early Show national correspondent Jon Frankel reports.

"We pray for peace in the middle of war," said Rev. T.D. Jakes in Dallas. His prayer was echoed from pulpits across the country.

At the Arrow Height Baptist Church in Oklahoma, worshippers remembered one of their own, Marine Lance Cpl. Thomas Allen Blair, killed in Iraq.

Even in the shadows of the Pentagon - there was a call for prayer by Muslims, Christians, Buddhists and Jews, These faiths of different cloths were woven together in an interfaith service called "Operation Iraqi Prayer."

"This is not a political event," said Rev. Andrew Merrow from the pulpit at St. Mary's Episcopal Church. "It is a prayer event and I entrust that mission to each and every one of you."

Their mission is not new. The different religious voices first sang as one on the anniversary of Sept. 11.

"It's important to know your neighbors. It does remove fear when you can look into their eyes, when you can see their needs, and their fears and wants. The ignorance gets in our way," says Jaime Leonard, a congregant of Interfaith Community.

Attempting to combat the ignorance, religious leaders at this service sat shoulder to shoulder.

"We have never been separate but we chose to be separate and that creates suffering," says Noreen Teoh, a Buddhist from Kunzang Palyul Choling Temple.

Just as some doubt that bullets and force will bring democracy and freedom to Iraq, worshippers know that a prayer for peace is not likely to end the hostilities.

Rev. Merrow says, "No, I don't think the bombs are going to stop falling because of what we did tonight. But I do believe something is at work."

Imam Johari Abdul-Malik of Dar Al Hijrah Mosque says, "America is a place that is made up of many nations and many faiths. And if we can operate at the highest level of our faith, then we will have been successful. "

Some are concerned that their prayers for peace might be seen as a protest.

"I support our leadership, our troops. I don't want to be at war but I feel they needed to take the step. But I do pray for a swift end to the war," says Marcia Dodge of the Interfaith Community.

Also of the Interfaith Community, Virginia Pearson, says, "I couldn't think of a more effective way of creating change."

Believing no religion should stand alone, this coalition holds a glimmer of hope for peace.