West Virginia Mayor Says Only ‘Silver Bullet’ To Substance Abuse Is Prayer (VIDEO)

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Like many cities around the country, Huntington, West Virginia, is not immune to drug problems. The second largest city in West Virginia has a pitiful crime record that far outpaces the average for the rest state. So, it must have come as some relief that Huntington’s mayor, Steve Williams, announced that he was about to start a brand new, no-holds-bar initiative to help curb some of the substance abuse problems in his little city.

His solution? Good old-fashion prayer.

In a video sent specifically to church leaders, Williams says he has tried almost everything he can to stop the drug use, but the only “silver bullet” left to do is pray really hard to make it go away. He asks that the church leaders do their part in getting God’s attention.

“No doubt you’re aware of the disease that is prevalent throughout our community of substance abuse. There is a level of addiction in our city, in our region, that is taking us down. Frankly, we’re trying everything we know possible from a city law enforcement, through so many social agencies, and recovery and treatment efforts.”

Unfortunately those practical, grounded approaches to preventing drugs are slow and sometimes expensive. Luckily, Williams knows that if human intervention fails, there is always divine intervention. In fact, prayer is so effective according to Williams, that it’s a wonder nobody ever thought to try it before.

“I keep hearing people say that there’s not a silver bullet, but I really don’t believe that. There’s one area that I haven’t seen that there’s been a concerted effort within the Tri-State community, and that’s what I wanted to chat with you about. What I’m wanting to ask you is if you would join all the churches within the Tri-State on one day in September, one Sunday in September, and have your church, during your Sunday services, participate in prayer with all the other churches, all the other congregations throughout the Tri-State area.”

With all the awkwardness of a middle school boy asking his crush to the Winter dance, Williams invites churches around West Virginia to hold a concentrated prayer session to beat back the demons of drug addiction.

For those rolling there eyes, Williams wants you to know that this isn’t some mumbo jumbo that won’t do anything. He knows it will work, because he’s seen prayer work in his life.

“I’ve come to understand and experience how powerful prayer can be, personally in my life, and certainly from what I’ve observed in my administration and how we are going about doing business.”

Prayer is so powerful, in fact, that Williams “can’t imagine the power that would be unleashed if every church” prayed in unison on a single day, at a single time – a high-intensity, concentrated beam of prayer sent at light speed towards the heavens. If God wasn’t listening before, he will be now.

Williams scheduled his prayer beam for September 7th, and by all accounts went off flawlessly. According to the Charleston Daily Mail:

It was a full house at Fifth Avenue Baptist Church Sunday when worshipers joined countless other congregations in a prayer to stop substance abuse and the pain it leaves in its wake.

The large turnout was probably partly influenced by the fact that Williams’ video had gone viral. By the time the event was scheduled, it had been viewed on YouTube and Vimeo a combined 1 million times. Churches and ordinary citizens contacted Williams to say they would be participating.

Dog-Chapman_(cropped)

image via Wikipedia

And in a turn of events that prove that the universe is far stranger than we could ever imagine, Williams’ message somehow wound up somewhere underneath the blonde mullet of Duane ‘Dog the Bounty Hunter’ Chapman. The former reality show star phoned Williams a few days prior to the event to lend his support to the cause.

“I thought that was great of somebody in politics to be able to ask for divine intervention. I think that’s what America is about is freedom of religion in every place,” Chapman told West Virginia’s WSAZ 3.

Whether the divine intervention paid off is less clear. The unimaginable power that was unleashed on September 7th didn’t seem to prevent Huntington police officers from arresting a local man on drug charges the very next day. While Williams was praying, the police department was organizing an ongoing massive anti-drug offensive codenamed “Operation: River to Jail” (seriously) that aims to eliminate drug trafficking in the area.

And can you blame them? The lord helps those who help themselves, after all.