Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Praying for the community

I guess one of the features of our discipleship over the last thirty years has been a heart to pray for the community in which we live. I can't remember when it began, but I think it has its roots in the Make Way events of the early eighties.

Over the years our approach has morphed into other things, taken sharp unexpected turns, and gone through quiet periods and times of complete inactivity! We're not perfect! We've learnt a lot and seen a lot of different things happen. Some have been big and obvious (there's a vibrant church in one place now and it's good to know our community prayers were part of the planting process), some less obvious.

I'm not sure we've always been understood, too often there's an expectation that there will be "results", and there have been times when it seems that for some our prayers have been neither public enough nor  inclusive enough. But there we go, you can't please everyone.

Our aaron'our new community. Something I've done before is to pray Aaron's blessing every time I turn into a new street when I'm out walking. It's simple and in many ways non-theatening or spooky (spiritually speaking). You see you don't need some special revelation about the family at number four or the old man across the street to pray this way. All you need to have is a commitment to bless people. Maybe there is even a principle about the importance of praying a blessing into a place and not just a spirit out of one.

Although I haven't bought the book or researched the project in great depth, I'm quite excited about a resource that has recently crossed my path called the Neighbourhood Prayer Network. I think we might connect with this and if you're interested you might like to have a look at the website too.

Anything that helps us focus on connecting with our community is a good thing. Right? Prayer is something we can all do, whether we walk the streets to do it or not is less important, although don't despise walking! I've been prompted to pray for things I might never have otherwise thought about just by walking down the street with my eyes open (spiritually and physically!)

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