The prayers of thousands of worshipers in New York just might be answered.

The state Senate Education Committee recently approved an amendment to education laws that would allow churches to use school buildings for religious meetings outside regular school hours, according to the New York Daily News.

For religious organizations in New York City, this amendment couldn't have come at a better time. After losing a 16-year-legal battle with the city last December, at least 160 religious organizations face expulsion from their worship space on Feb. 12.

Local church and community leaders, including City Councliman Fernando Cabrera, have been protesting the city's decision since it was announced in December. Two demonstrations in January - one Jan. 5 at the city Law Department and another on Jan. 12 at the mayor's State of the City address - have resulted in dozens of arrests.

This past weekend, organizers marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in protest.

Local church leaders are expected to plead their case at Thursday's city council hearing about the new amendment.