By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Palm Sunday brought prayers to heal Baltimore through an annual event to call for peace.

The 15th annual “Blessing of the City” brought together community members, religious leaders and elected officials outside City Hall.

“With the crime rate falling from a historic high, down to an absolute zero, let there be love in this city,” one speaker said.

The event united Baltimore’s congregations to pray for the city, offering messages of hope to focus on healing during a troubling time.

“I am praying today for all the crime and violence that has been going on throughout our city, so Lord, please continue to comfort, heal, strengthen and deliver our people, especially innocent children and families,” youth speaker Naya Clark said.

Baltimore’s youth delivered prayers to end violence, end racism and end homelessness, as well as prayers for the leaders, first responders and schools.

“Give us the courage to invest in our schools,” said youth speaker Parrish Andre. “We offer thanks to our teachers and school leaders who dedicate themselves to providing our children with the knowledge and resources they deserve.”

Uplifting words were spoken to bless Baltimore on Palm Sunday.

“We know prayer is only the beginning the words, prayer has to be followed with action, just as throughout all weekend, we have been hearing words, we have been hearing people’s expressions, but that has to be followed with actions and deeds,” Enon Baptist Church Rev. Arnold W. Howard said.

Powerful prayers the city hopes will inspire change and guide the city forward.

Organizers of Sunday’s blessing will also be holding a blue mass in the summer to pray for Baltimore’s first responders.

The “Blessing of the City” was organized by the Saint James Episcopal Church.

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