Jesus calls us to love our neighbors and at FCS, we have many programs focused on partnering with neighbors to create a flourishing community. Many of our staff live in the neighborhood where we serve and have opportunities to love in simple, tangible ways all the time. But another valuable way we can love our neighbors is by praying for them.
We often get so caught up in the busyness of our days or meeting the needs and engaging neighbors in our path that it can be easy to forget to pray for them and the neighborhood in which we live. There are endless opportunities to pray for your community. Here are seven prayers to get you started:
1. Pray for families. Families are a crucial social unit, and they can weather some significant challenges. Pray for the parents, aunts, grandparents, uncles, cousins, siblings, and children in your neighborhood.
Heavenly Father, we ask for your presence in families in our neighborhood. We pray for strength and understanding between the marriages in our neighborhood. We ask for loving, strong bonds between the children, teenagers, adults, and grandparents. We pray that each branch of the family would demonstrate love for one another.
2. Pray for relationships between neighbors. Healthy relationships between neighbors create a loving and compassionate community, Pray that neighbors would learn from each other’s differences and find common ground in their community.
God Almighty, we ask for healthy, thriving relationships between neighbors. We pray different cultures will be able to understand and care for one another in our neighborhood. We pray that the diversity of your people will be celebrated by all neighbors, just as you affirm and love each one of us.
3. Pray for schools. Pray that schools would be a place of positive influence for students in the neighborhood. We hope to see schools that contribute to the social fabric of a community and equip our children to achieve and thrive.
Father, we pray for the teachers and local principals who devote their days to shepherding our students. Please be present as district and state leaders make impactful decisions. We ask for guidance and patience for the parent volunteers as they serve our neighborhood schools. We pray that our schools will be a safe, positive community for our students.
4. Pray for local churches. Neighborhood churches are too often disconnected from the communities in which the physical building resides. We hope to see congregations committed to serving the residents and representing the hands and feet of Jesus.
Lord God, we pray for guidance for our local pastors as they nurture Your congregation and seek to serve those around them. We pray congregations would welcome neighbors with open arms. We hope for residents to find a place to experience community with the body of Christ as they grow spiritually.
5. Pray for safety and peace. A neighborhood where all residents feel welcomed and safe is one we strive to create. Pray God would allow your neighbors to find safety in their living situation.
God, our Prince of Peace, we ask for your presence in the streets and homes of our community. We pray for local law enforcement, for their safety and wisdom and compassion in all circumstances. We pray your comfort for those who have experienced violence, and we ask your protection for all our neighbors.
6. Pray for local politicians and leaders. Many neighborhoods experience marginalization when important decisions are being made. Pray for community voices to be heard in matters that impact them at the local, city, and state levels.
Father, we ask you to give our state and local leaders wisdom make decisions affecting our neighborhood. We pray they will be thoughtful in their decisions and listen to the voices of the community. We pray for courage to stand up for our community and to live with grace and dignity in our city.
7. Pray for residents. Pray for each neighbor by their name. Pray that your neighbors and residents of the neighborhood will know Jesus more deeply in their lives and have the opportunity to flourish as a community.
God, we ask for a flourishing community, where neighbors learn to love each other and come to know Jesus. We pray that we can be good stewards of Your love to each one of our neighbors. We ask that You help us to learn from our community, and it may be a place where all are welcomed.