As the price of oil continues to rise, the pinch to the wallet becomes more like a stab with a hot poker to consumers. Some are turning to God and prayer for an answer to their financial troubles.

The Pray at the Pump Movement, founded by Rocky Twyman, has been holding prayer vigils at gas stations across the country. From Virginia, to Toledo, to San Francisco, Americans have been meeting at their local stations and praying around the pumps.

Twyman, a choir director from the Washington, D.C., area says politicians have been unable to do anything about rising fuel costs, so it’s time to ask God to intervene and lower prices.

This week, Rocky Twyman decided to take his movement from Exxon and Shell stations straight to the steps of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C., hoping to encourage the oil-rich country to raise the amount of barrels they release each day from 200,000 to 1.2 million.

He spent the afternoon outside of the embassy praying and asking passersby to sign his petition for the release of more oil, which he hopes to deliver to the Saudi oil minister.

Twyman, who prompted the first national campaign aimed at getting African Americans to become bone marrow donors, has moved on from holding prayer vigils to a more activist participation in an attempt to lower gas prices.

“I think we have just entered a new phase. We were in the prayerful phase, but now we’re going into a more activist phase, because we feel that whole faith without works is dead,” Twyman told reporters.

Prayer aside, some argue that there is very little the average consumer can do to influence gas prices. John Neurohr from the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, has a different approach to managing the high gas prices.

“There is little, if anything, the average person can do to reduce gas prices generally. What they can do is reduce their personal dependence on gasoline by carpooling and utilizing public transportation.”

Whether consumers decide to pray more or pump less, it is likely that the big changes will result from incremental steps towards more consumer-friendly oil policies.

I’m for hitting the problem from all sides. Drill now, use less, pray.


Prayer at the Pump Video and Commentary