Pastor’s Corner 9/10/2020
Before I explain more about prayerwalking, I’d like to share with you something that emerged from my quiet time earlier this week. The Holy Spirit reminded me that our move into Gray’s Event Center and our move into 5 weeks of prayer are moves of both strength and vulnerability.
Strength: We’re stepping forward into God’s future for Immanuel, regathering for worship and walking with Jesus through our neighborhoods.
Vulnerability: Any change/transition (as you well know!) exposes us to loss, uncertainty, and a measure of instability, pressing on the wounds and weaknesses of our humanity. And we’re engaging in battle against “the cosmic powers over this present darkness.” (Read Ephesians 6.10-12 as a good reminder of these things!)
Engaging in both strength and vulnerability, strangely, is the path to flourishing. One without the other moves us toward increasing degrees of brokenness. Embracing both is the way of the cross, movement toward the life only Jesus can give.
As we walk together into God’s future, don’t be surprised by the various kinds of resistance, pain, and frustration such risk requires — the initial strangeness, confusion, and bumpiness of our Sunday morning protocols, for example, or the awkwardness you feel as you make your first attempts at prayerwalking. Receive them as opportunities to pray, to extend and receive grace, and to rest in the faithfulness of Jesus.
And ask questions! Open, straightforward communication is always the healthiest path toward wholeness. Also, know that we’ll continue adapting and making needed changes as we move forward.
Now, on to prayerwalking….
Another of my favorite quotes from Waymakers is this one: “Persistent, life-giving prayer for others leads to opportunities to care, displaying God’s love, which opens the way to share the gospel, declaring God’s love. It is a simple sequence: Prayer-Care-Share.” Prayerwalking is how we begin to participate with Jesus in bringing the kingdom of God into our neighborhoods — there is movement in prayerwalking, metaphorical as well physical.
We walk with prayerful intention… → Our hearts merge with the heart of the Father… → Our eyes open to see the reality of our neighbors’ lives… → We begin to discern practical ways in which we can care for our communities… → Relationships grow and opportunities emerge to share how Jesus’s story connects with our neighbors’ stories.
And the source of this movement is not our effort, but the Holy Spirit empowering our praying, cultivating our caring, and guiding our sharing.
The week of September 13, our focus is on praying that our neighbors would enter the Reconciliation of Christ (Ephesians 2:11-22). If you haven’t already, be sure to print out the Prayerwalking Guide for directions on how to pray.
Your Pastor in Christ,