We weave prayer into our daily work here at FCS. It’s one of the ways we stay attuned to seeing the neighborhood through God’s eyes, noticing its beauty and strengths. A couple of years ago, we offered you seven areas to pray over when you’re praying for the neighborhood. Today, we want to share some of our favorite methods for praying with the neighborhood. In particular, these ways of praying are particularly great to do with children. We hope you enjoy!
#1 Go On a Prayer Walk
If you walk regularly, this could be a great opportunity to incorporate prayer for your neighborhood. Prayer walks can be done alone or with a partner. To do a prayer walk, start by asking God to guide your eyes and lead you to pray and praise the neighborhood. Then walk attentively. Stop and pray quietly at different places or moments when you feel the Spirit Lead. Or, if you prefer, pray out loud with your friend as you walk around the neighborhood and notice where God’s flourishing is present and where it still needs to grow.
#2 Hold the Neighborhood in the Light
Sometimes, when you don’t know exactly what to pray for, it’s easiest to present the person, place, or thing up to God’s presence and call it a day. Essentially, that’s what holding it in the light means. Taken from Quaker traditions, holding your neighborhood in the light is a humble way of inviting more of God into your community. To hold your neighborhood in the light, picture the person or neighborhood on your heart. Then, imagine God’s presence enveloping them like light, or dripping over them like gold honey. You may find that specific requests arise with this activity, or you may simply bask in God’s loving presence washing over the neighborhood.
#3 Make a Prayer Collage
For the artistically minded folks, the prayer collage entails collecting and placing images that represent hopes and challenges of your neighborhood. To gather items for a collage, you can either get together magazines, newspapers, art books, and more image-based media and cut them out. This option is great for a small group of people who want to pray and spend time together.
For a more adventurous, 3D collage, consider doing a found-object collage. For this kind of collage, collect 2-3 items a day in your neighborhood for a week or so. These could be flyers you picked up at your local library, flowers in bloom from your local park, part of a coffee cup sleeve from the nearby coffee shop, even garbage you find on the ground! After you’ve collected these items, spend some time decoupaging them thoughtfully. What do your found items represent about your community? Invite God to show you both opportunities and beauties.
Just like neighboring, prayer can take many forms. Neighbors pray different ways, and different communities can benefit from lots of different kinds of prayer. If you try these different methods, we’d love to know what comes up. Encouragement is a wonderful way to partner with organizations like ours.