The Quaker religion was founded in mid-17th-century Britain on principles of non-violence and religious contemplation. Eschewing the pomp, grandeur and complex rituals associated with other Christian sects, the Quakers express their devotion in a plain and outwardly simply manner. They do not proselytize, and they tend to form low-key, tightly knit groups run by totally democratic meetings in which each member has equal say in matters affecting their community. In Prayer in the Dark, the Hayworth family lives in a Quaker enclave in up-state New York. The matriarch, Emily (Lynda Carter) runs the local bank. Years before, she and her family took in troubled, young Jimmy Flood (Colin Ferguson) to protect him from his abusive father. Though one of Emily's grown daughters, Janet (Teri Polo) felt she didn't belong in the quiet, pious community and left the Quakers, the mother believes that her family ties are strong, despite the fact that another of her daughters, Deborah (Lindsey Connell) is pregnant and experiencing difficulties with her husband David (Matthew Bennett). They too are thinking of leaving the order. Real trouble comes to the family when Jimmy Flood returns to the house after busting out of prison with the help of Digby (Phillip Jarrett) and Lester (Silvio Oliviero), and he takes Emily's family hostage in exchange for $4 million. If Emily fails to secure the money in time, her entire family will die. Determined to resolve the potentially deadly conflict in a peaceful manner, Emily races to town and calls an emergency meeting of the Friends to work out a solution.
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