Melynda Workman prayed when her husband was shot Sept. 9, 2008, during a robbery of their Dairy Queen store on Tamarack Circle South.

Melynda Workman prayed when her husband was shot Sept. 9, 2008, during a robbery of their Dairy Queen store on Tamarack Circle South.

She doubtless uttered more prayers while staring at the gun wielded by one of two robbers who held up the place shortly before 10 p.m. June 16.

Now, John and Melynda Workman are joining forces with the Victorious Living Christian Center Church on Tamarack Circle North to organize a "Circle of Prayer" in hopes no one in the neighborhood ever has to feel that kind of fear again.

"It was scary," Melynda Workman said of the holdup in which two men pulled T-shirts over their heads and one of them pulled a weapon on her and three employees. "I also know that God's grace gets me through those kinds of things."

The Circle of Prayer is to take place at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, around Tamarack Circle.

Participants are being asked to show up at 6.

"We want to circle the circle with enough people to pray over the community," Melynda Workman said last week.

A flier being circulated for the event states that 500 or more people are needed, but Workman admitted she's not sure if that's enough.

"We didn't figure up how many we really needed, but however many show up, that's what we'll have to go with," she said.

"We want the Tamarack community to know that there are people out there who care about the community, especially the churches and the businesses," said Crystal Robinson, evangelist at Victorious Living Christian Church.

The Rev. Howard Williams is the pastor.

Church members had begun holding "Prayer Walking" events on Tuesday evenings, walking around the circle and handing out tracts, Robinson said.

"We know that the state of the community right now, the only thing that's going to change it is prayer," she said.

A rally aimed at stopping violence in the community took place at the church in June, and Melynda Workman was on hand. She raised the idea of circling Tamarack Circle with people praying.

"We immediately wanted to partner with her," Robinson said.

Three or four other churches also are becoming involved, Workman said.

"Last September my husband was shot in a robbery at the DQ on Tamarack Circle," she wrote in a letter seeking participants for the Sept. 15 event. "This past June I was robbed at gunpoint, and I don't know how many other countless things ... have happened in this area, but we want to do something about it.

"It is time to make a stand."

Robinson and Workman both said the Circle of Prayer is aimed as much at changing the lives of those who have committed crimes in the vicinity as it is for the protection of residents and business people.

"Whatever you can pray to God, he goes before you and takes care of it for you," Workman said. "He asks you to pray for these people."

"The power of prayer can actually change even the ones we think might not want the same thing for the community, we want to see their lives change," Robinson said. "Prayer will help to turn them around, as well as the community. We want to see a change in them, also."

Those interested in additional information should send an e-mail to vlccevangelism@ byahoo.com or visit http://tamarackcommunitycircleofprayer.blogspot.com.

"They can come to the Dairy Queen to get more information from me or my husband anytime," Workman added.