PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — A prayer of preservation was held on Peoria’s south end Thursday night.

Local pastors and organizations are looking to heal Peoria through prayers. More than 20 people from different churches and organizations came together Thursday night on the corner of Griswold and Krause.

“We want to get all the believers that believe in the power of prayer and make a difference in the community. I believe it starts with bringing people together,” said Pastor at Sovereign Grace Baptist Church, Alvin Riley.

Some even called out the Peoria City Council for not approving the assessment for Cure Violence, which aims to combat violence in cities across the nation.

“The assessment itself will determine where and how the funds need to be distributed and who is best to utilize those funds in order to make a difference in the community,” said St. Luke M. B. Church Pastor, Benjamin Nicks Jr.

Nicks said the groups are already here, but the assessment must be done to allocate funds appropriately.

“If you were to take a poll and get some estimates from various different people on the south end, they would let you know who’s been out there, hand in hand, side by side through all of their crisis, through every violent moment,” said Nicks.

On Thursday, two people were found dead in a basement of a Peoria home and one male was shot in the back with serious but stable conditions on W. Kettelle St.

The group that gathered for the prayer of preservation said they’re praying for the families who lost a loved one Thursday.

“It’s heartbreaking, due to the fact that young lives are constantly snatched out, and always look at what could have been or what was possible for these young people if we were more active,” said Riley.

Dwayne Williams is the president of Stepping 4ward Together. The group scouts for men in Peoria to hit the streets of Peoria to serve as a mentor or friends to young people.

“We just encourage men, we just try to encourage them and let them know hey if you need someone to talk to we are here. We can offer you something to eat, we want to offer you something to eat, we just want to uplift you,” said Williams.

Williams said this was their first prayer, but said there are more to come. He hopes to gather more organizations, churches, and Peoria leaders for the event.