MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- We saw an especially violent week in Milwaukee last week. From Sunday, April 12th through Sunday, April 19th, we saw 14 shootings in Milwaukee, and Milwaukee police are investigating seven homicides that occurred within this period. During Easter weekend, Milwaukee saw seven shootings -- five of them occurring within a two-hour period. Could prayer be the answer to all the violence? Faith leaders in Milwaukee are taking their message out of the church and into the street. They say it's the first step toward restoring peace and ending the violence.
17-year-old Dave Lewis took a break from playing basketball Sunday afternoon, April 19th -- trading the court for Christ.
"It just felt right," Lewis said.
Dozens gathered in McGovern Park on N. 51st Boulevard in Milwaukee to pray for peace. Lewis and his buddies were welcomed in.
"It`s ridiculous -- all the killings and all that. It`s for nothing -- killing someone for no reason," Lewis said.
"Invisible Reality Ministries" hosted Sunday's pop-up prayer service. It was an effort to take God's message of peace to the streets of Milwaukee.
"I have to be honest, African-American people alone, we are acting like we aren`t worth anything," Samaria Williams said.
Williams took part in the prayer service with her seven-year-old son Jamar.
"He`ll take us to heaven," Williams said.
Williams believes the violence can be stopped, and self-worth can be restored through prayer.
"That next person can tell that next person. It will be like a chain reaction," Williams said.
"It can be done. We can do it together," a community prayer participant said.
It's a new way of thinking as this group hopes for a new and better tomorrow.
"There are people making a stand -- like today with this prayer," a community prayer participant said.
"It makes you think you`ve got God on your side to watch over you," Lewis said.
Other pop-up community prayers are planned, and pastors say they'll also head out into Milwaukee neighborhoods to reach out to troubled youth one-on-one.