Monday, August 23, 2010

Prayer Walking

In April and early May, my church committed to prayer walking the streets and neighborhoods behind the church. I attend an inner-city church in a community that has seen its prime. The church prayer walked on Wednesday nights. On May 2-3, the flood hit. The record books were completely rewritten as water levels in downtown Nashville reached 49.5 feet. Houses, restaurants, hotels, the Titans stadium, the Grand Ole Opry, Opry Mills, and the entire town of Brentwood were all flooded. The houses behind my church were hit as well, as water reached the second-story windows. 

As we prayer walked the following Monday, the devastation was horrible. Every previously occupied house had all of the possessions sitting in the front yard, soaked and ruined. I noticed many people sitting on their front steps, staring into space. Depression, hopelessness, and anxiety was written all over their faces. So as a church, we asked, "What is the point of this? God let this happen for a reason." The answer was in two parts, A) the prayer walking, and B) in an opportunity to connect with the community.

We had prayer walked for a reason, though we didn't see exactly what that was at the start. I thought we were prayer walking because that was something Christians did. It turns out that He was preparing us for an opportunity to reach out to the ministry. While FEMA was frozen for a few weeks, our church, along with other churches in the community, were working to repair houses, hand out water, and assist with renovation. 

So two months later, while I was at Life Action, I said to myself, "Just because the church stopped prayer walking doesn't mean I should." While walking around camp, I would pray. And things started happening. Some friends and I began to meet and pray for each other, and the things we prayed came true. For example,  we prayed that one guy wouldn't misuse his mouth and that he wouldn't get away with bad jokes or sarcasm. Guess what? He didn't! Each time, he was reprimanded, scolded, or slapped in the back of the head. And when we prayed that I would be patient and have self-control when I wanted to explode in anger, it happened! The same guy who we prayed for control of his mouth was told by a co-worker of mine that I showed patience that day when she thought I wanted to explode on her because she dropped a dozen clean dishes.

So all that to say, prayer works. Whether you prayer with a group of friends or while walking to your next class at school, God would just love for us to pray and talk to Him. Instead of using that time to divulge in random thoughts, concentrate instead on God.

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