Calling for Prayer in Internet Age

Not far from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD -- which monitors threats to the continent -- sits the World Prayer Center, which calls itself the "NORAD of prayer."

The center is the brainchild of evangelical pastor Ted Haggard, who refers to his church as a spiritual NORAD because members are "watching the whole world all the time for events that need to be prayed for."

Haggard leads a team of "prayer warriors," as they refer to themselves, who are watching the world for prayer targets, such as President Bush.

"We pray for our president," said a local college student in a prayer at the center, "that you would instruct him and help him, Father, in everything he does, as he selects new Cabinet positions, Father, in this term."

The type of prayer they practice is called "intercessory prayer."

"Intercessory prayer means someone standing in the gap for someone else," said Haggard. "So if you're interceding for your Aunt Martha, that means you're standing in the gap before God, praying for Aunt Martha."

The idea of strategic, targeted prayer is by no means new. It has been practiced for millenniums. But the advent of the Internet has given the modern prayer movement a whole new size, scope and sophistication.

With the stroke of a key, Haggard and the leaders of other major prayer networks can alert millions of believers to national and global issues to be prayed over -- from the genocide in Sudan to the health of Chief Justice William Rehnquist to the issue of same-sex marriage.

Prayer Walks in Washington, Hollywood

The prayer warriors work offline as well. Ruth Mizell, the congressional liaison for Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, leads "prayer walks" through the U.S. Capitol.

"We always feel that God is not a Democrat or a Republican -- that we just want God's will," she said. Many Christian politicians say the spiritual tenor in the nation's capital has improved during the presidency of Bush, an avowed born-again Christian.

Church leaders also lead secret prayer walks through Hollywood studio lots.

"Hollywood is the most influential cultural institution in the entire world," said Michele Suh, a Christian who works in the entertainment industry. "So what better [way] for us, as industry believers, to make a positive impact in our culture than praying for this industry?"

Does all this prayer make any difference?

"There's no way to say, 'People prayed, and then it happened,' but we do know from empirical evidence that when people pray, things happen," Haggard said.

While there is no universally agreed-upon evidence that prayer works, millions have faith it does.

ABC News' Dan Harris filed this report for "World News Tonight."

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