Taking the Gospel to the Neighborhoods Around Us
If you’ve been around Grace Life for any extended period of time, you know that one of the rhythms we try to maintain is to do prayer walks around the communities that we live in and are surrounded by. But what is a prayer walk, why do we do them, and how can you participate? Although there is no specific biblical precedent for the term “prayer walk”, we see throughout the Scriptures that the mentality of this continual conversation between us and God (as we learned this past Sunday) happens not only in the quiet corners of our lives but also in the active parts of our daily routines.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
From the onset of God’s chosen people, we see a clear command to be in constant conversation about God and what He reveals to us about Him from His word. The depiction of daily recognition of God in all aspects of our life is where a life filled with prayer leads us. We can and should pray individually (certainly Jesus was constantly getting away to pray!) but we also pray together with one another and for one another. These prayer walks are intended to simply be a time of literally praying as we walk about. Life is full of distractions, and so prayer walking is not some magical ritual, but instead an intentional opportunity to focus on praying for the lost in our communities, to remind ourselves of the mission set before us in Matthew 28:18-20, and potentially open up the opportunity to have Gospel conversations.
Why do we do these prayer walks? Because it is not only an opportunity to get to know our communities, but also an opportunity to rub shoulders with other brothers and sisters. In both Mark 6:7 and Luke 10:1, we see Jesus sending out his disciples in sets of two. Prayer walking is not an activity that we engage in alone, but we partner together and share in this activity, increasing our confidence and speaking with joy the love of Christ for all people. We also know that we are called to proclaim the Gospel to all people.
Colossians 4:3-4 “At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison – that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
Unlike Paul here in Colossians, we are not stuck in prison- we have the chance to actively seek open doors! And even when we are rejected, which the first disciples also experienced, we know that God hears our prayers and knows the needs of the people we interact with. None of our labor is in vain when we are doing it for the Lord.
So how can you be involved? This Saturday, November 12th, at 9:45AM we will gather together in the church building to get our hearts and minds focused, and then we will go on foot into a neighborhood nearby and simply walk, pass out cards with information about our church, and engage with anyone who is willing to talk or be prayed over. For those who physically may not be able to walk, you can gather with us and pray, drive and give out water bottles, or even just take the time at home around 10 AM to stop and pray that gospel seeds will be planted and watered. We will do another walk in the morning on December 10th, so you can mark your calendars for that as well.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing. This is a great opportunity to learn what it means to be in constant prayer through means of setting our minds on God as we take our hands and feet to task. Don’t miss the opportunity for this great blessing both for you and our community.
Love in Christ,