Praying for lower gas prices

Posted on May 27th, 2008 by Tracy Simmons

I had a two-hour layover in Baltimore this weekend as I was traveling to Ohio. I picked up the Baltimore Sun and read a story about a pastor, Rocky Twyman, who is going around to various gas stations and praying for lower gas prices. He’s been doing this for a month now, and sadly, prices just keep going up.

From the story: With prayer and more prayer, he believes prices will come tumbling down like the “walls of Jericho.” “It could be Buddha. It could be the Dalai Lama,” said Twyman, himself a Seventh Day Adventist, who believes the spike in oil prices and natural disasters of late are a sign that the end of the world is nigh. “We just think there needs to be some divine intervention. Because man has become greedy. How much money do they have to make while all these people are struggling?”

Do you agree with his beliefs? And, do you know if anything like this is going on around here?



Pray-in at S.F. gas station asks God to lower prices

David R. Baker, Chronicle Staff Writer

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rocky Twyman has a radical solution for surging gasoline prices: prayer.

Twyman – a community organizer, church choir director and public relations consultant from the Washington, D.C., suburbs – staged a pray-in at a San Francisco Chevron station on Friday, asking God for cheaper gas. He did the same thing in the nation’s Capitol on Wednesday, with volunteers from a soup kitchen joining in. Today he will lead members of an Oakland church in prayer.

Yes, it’s come to that.

“God is the only one we can turn to at this point,” said Twyman, 59. “Our leaders don’t seem to be able to do anything about it. The prices keep soaring and soaring.”

Gas prices have been driven relentlessly higher this year by the bull market for crude oil, gasoline’s main ingredient. A gallon of regular now costs $3.89, on average, in California, while the national average has hit $3.58.

To solve the problem, Twyman isn’t begging the Lord for any specific act of intervention. He is not asking God to make OPEC pump more oil. Nor is he praying for all the speculative investors to be purged from the New York Mercantile Exchange, where crude oil is traded.

Instead, he says anyone who wants to follow his example should keep it simple.

“God, deliver us from these high gas prices,” Twyman said. “That’s all they have to say.”

Consumer advocates who have been howling about gasoline prices for months say they understand his frustration, even if they haven’t tried his tactics.

“Given the complete inertia and silence of this White House on a crisis that has people feeling just hopeless, prayer is probably as good as anything,” said Judy Dugan, research director with the nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog. “Frankly, I wish them luck.”

Her organization has a list of proposals to help tame gas prices. Federal officials could stop adding oil for the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve and start selling some instead, for example. That would boost supplies in the market and drive down the price. Officials also could tighten oversight of crude oil trading.

“This is government’s job – it shouldn’t be God’s job – but government is in gridlock or ignoring it,” Dugan said.

Some of Consumer Watchdog’s ideas may finally be gaining support. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, on Thursday asked President Bush to stop filling the strategic oil reserve. And on Friday, she called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the oil market is being manipulated.

Twyman, 59, has a history of taking on interesting causes, some whimsical, some deadly serious. Three years ago, he led a petition drive to have Oprah Winfrey nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. It didn’t work, obviously, but he says he had a great time with it.

His real passion, however, has been persuading African Americans to become bone marrow donors. A friend of his who had just adopted a child died from leukemia in 1995 without ever finding a donor, and Twyman threw himself into the cause.

For years, racial and ethnic minorities have been underrepresented on the national donor registry, a problem because people in need of a transplant have a greater chance of finding a match with donors of the same race or ethnic group. Twyman estimates that his bone marrow drives, many of them organized through churches, have netted 14,000 potential donors. The drives also brought him an Above & Beyond award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society.

Twyman knows his approach to gasoline prices may sound simplistic. He’s quick to point out that anyone praying for cheaper fuel also has an obligation to do something more active about the problem.

“People have to walk more, leave those cars at home, and carpool, man,” he said. “We have to become more practical.”

He’s also hoping that if enough people start praying at the pump, politicians who might actually be able to do something about the problem will listen.

But he says his prayer for gas-price relief from God is sincere.

“I’ve seen him work miracles in my life,” Twyman said. “He told us that all we need to do is ask and believe. He can do it, and he will do it, but we have to ask him to do it.”

E-mail David R. Baker at

This article appeared on page C – 1 of the San Francisco Chronicle



Rocky Twyman’s efforts resulted in a bone marrow transplant for Ramon Hilliard, 16. “Rocky is an amazing person,” said Denae Hilliard, Ramon’s mother.


Hopeless motorists turn to God for cheap petrol

By Karin Zeitvogel

WASHINGTON: At a petrol station in Washington, Rocky Twyman and an unusual group of activists were mad as hell about soaring fuel prices.

“Last week, this station was $3.51. Now it’s practically 3.60. So it’s gone up nine cents in one week,” Twyman said as he pumped five dollars worth of petrol into his thirsty American car.

“Someone’s making a lot of money and it’s really, really wrong,” added Twyman, who founded the Prayer at the Pump movement last week to seek help from a higher power to bring down fuel prices, because the powers in Washington haven’t.

The half-dozen activists Twyman, a former Miss Washington DC, the owner of a small construction company and two volunteers at a local soup kitchen joined hands, bowed their heads and intoned a heartfelt prayer.

“Lord, come down in a mighty way and strengthen us so that we can bring down these high gas (petrol) prices,” Twyman said to a chorus of “amens”.

“Prayer is the answer to every problem in life. We call on God to intervene in the lives of the selfish, greedy people who are keeping these prices high,” Twyman said on the forecourt of the petrol station in a neighbourhood of Washington that, like many of its residents, has seen better days.

“Lord, the prices at this pump have gone up since last week. We know that you are able, that you have all the power in the world,” he prayed, before former beauty queen Rashida Jolley led the group in a modified version of the spiritual, “We Shall Overcome”.

“We’ll have lower gas prices, we’ll have lower gas prices,” they sang.

At the weekend, Twyman had led a group of around 200 people in prayer at pumps in San Francisco, where petrol is nearing four dollars a gallon (3.8 litres).

On Thursday, US lawmakers and experts at a congressional hearing on Capitol Hill painted a grim picture of how Americans are being hammered by record fuel costs and the steepest food price spikes in 17 years.

“We pay more to drive to the supermarket, and then get hit with higher prices when we get there,” Senator Charles Schumer told the hearing.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney said Americans have been forced by soaring prices to go on a “recession diet”.

“In some areas of the country, people are paying four dollars for both a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas,” and are substituting meats fish and vegetables with cheaper pasta and canned foods, Maloney said.

On the forecourt of the Washington Shell station, retiree Rufus Simpkin was feeling the pain at the pump and praying for relief.

“I’m having to spend much more on gas, and I am retired,” he said. “It is really hitting me and my family hard.” Marcia Frazier-Foster was filling up her car for the long drive home to Laurel, a suburb from which she commutes 53 kilometres, four days a week to work in a Washington soup kitchen, serving hot meals to scores of men who have fallen on tough times.

“The cost of food has gone up, quantities we get from the food bank have gone down. The cost at the gas station has gone up and that means I spend more money to get here,” she said after joining the prayer for fuel prices to come down.

“Yet I don’t see anyone in power really concerned about the high gas prices President Bush doesn’t even think we’re in a recession,” she lamented.

Americans have turned to prayer because the earthly powers-that-be don’t seem to give a hoot, said Judy Dugan, a research director at Consumer Watchdog, a non-profit group based in California.

She described Prayer at the Pump as “the ultimate Hail Mary”.

“It’s what you do when you feel you have no one on your side, and they certainly don’t have the US government on their side on this,” Dugan said.

At the Shell station, Twyman had dire words of warning for those who are raking in profits from high fuel prices.

“Woe be unto those people that are really greedy and taking advantage of American families,” he proclaimed from his pump pulpit.

“These prices will come down, just like the walls of Jericho came down in the Bible,” he said, as another chorus of amens punctuated the sound of cash flowing out of the pumps.—AFP


New Life Member Gets County Recognition, Promotes Prayer for Gas Prices

Rocky Twyman, a member of the New Life church in Gaithersburg, Md., has been in the news for a number of community outreach activities and contributions. Most recently, in honor of National Volunteer Week (April 27-May 3), the Montgomery County Council honored Twyman during a meeting at its headquarters in Rockville, Md. Members of the council, led by president Mike Knapp, drew up a proclamation dedicating April 29 as Rocky Twyman Day. The acknowledgment was a result of Twyman’s assistance in recruiting nearly 14,000 minority donors for the national bone marrow registry since 1992.

Bone marrow transplants help individuals suffering with rare forms of leukemia, sickle cell anemia, and Lupus. Ramon Hilliard, a 17-year-old cancer survivor and high school athlete, and his mother, Denae, testified at the meeting about Twyman’s efforts, claiming he helped save the teenager’s life. Twyman also led in the fight to save the life of the District of Columbia’s former first lady Effi Barry.

“I am grateful to God for touching the hearts of these elected officials to proclaim this day,” commented Twyman. “This could not have happened without the support of the Washington metropolitan media. I am especially grateful to Columbian Union Visitor staff who have promoted my bone marrow drives over the years.”

The Congressional Medal of Honor Society also recently saluted Twyman for his bone marrow registry activism. The society declared him the Maryland finalist for its newly created Above and Beyond Citizens Award. Fifty-one finalists were chosen from across the country. The award is considered the highest recognition that a civilian in the United States can receive.

The community organizer and public relations consultant is onto another outreach effort. Twyman founded the Pray Down the High Gas Prices Movement, which is sweeping across the country and gaining media attention. He is urging citizens to go to the pump and use the power of prayer to make the prices fall down.

You Tube


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: