One of the best ways to love a community is to pray for it.
Some church planters do this by prayer walking, and organizing regular prayer walks. On the ground is great! Other planters drive around communities, praying (eyes open) as they go.
There are places where God has called me to drive up a hill that overlooks a neighborhood and to park there consistently just to pray for a church to be started in that community. There are locations where God has responded by breaking ground for new churches in the precise spots where I prayed.
A Virtual Prayer Walk
Have you ever considered a virtual prayer walk?
This idea became most real to me when I hurt my knee and couldn’t prayer walk or drive.
Open a webpage to see a community, and let your fingers do the walking. In the middle of the night when God burdens your heart for a neighborhood, open up and pray. It’s also a good way to implore distant friends and family to labor in prayer with you.
One way to pray virtually is through Google Earth. This website invites readers to “go anywhere, on any device, for free.” Zero in on an address, a block, even a neighborhood and view it through satellite imagery. Explore communities and pray for households, schools, businesses and more while actually viewing them as if you were there. It makes my prayers seem somehow tangible.
Another website that helps me with virtual prayer walking is Zillow. It is actually a real estate website that lists homes for sale, in foreclosure and for rent, as well as those not available. It gives an estimate for the market value and rental value of a home, the square footage, number of rooms, and the year it was last sold. You can stop at each address on a block and pray for the people who live there.
Sure, my 21 year-old daughter would see this as spying and call it “creepy.” But what if your virtual prayer walk and shows you a home that was recently sold, and the Spirit inclines your heart to pray for those who are moving in or out? What if He whispers to visit those new neighbors and welcome them? What if you notice a house in foreclosure, and can minister to a desperate family, or you see a home that was last purchased forty years ago, and seems in poor repair. Maybe it indicates a senior who needs help.
Virtual prayer walking— try it sometime!
Photo Credit Andrew Bowden.
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