As part of our series on the lessons of Mister Rogers, we took this past Sunday to pray for our neighbors. We divided up into teams to pray for all the families in our village and school district. Four teams walked different routes through the village as we prayed for the families in the homes we passed, while others prayed over maps of the other parts of the school district. We ended the morning with a potluck back at the church.
It was a holy and Spirit-filled morning of worship! You can watch a recap video of the day here: https://youtu.be/IPaYKZBEnUQ
We used prayer sheets to guide the walkers and map-prayers. I took screen shots from Google maps and printed them so that every part of our school district got prayed over and then each walking group and each person praying over a map got a prayer guide. You can download the each version of the prayer guide here:
Prayer Walk Instructions and Prayers
Praying Over Maps – Instructions and Prayers
These are the instructions I shared during a shortened worship service before the walk:
“This idea has been done before in other neighborhoods and it was inspired for me
by Rev. Martha Grace Reese author of Unbinding the Soul. Her advice for doing a prayer walk is to first, ‘Ask God, which route you should take today.’ There are going to be 4 walking routes through the village. We also have maps here of the rest of the parts of the district and written prayers and instructions for people to pray over the outlying areas. So be in prayer about which of these options God is leading you towards today. And as you walk or trace the streets on a map, ‘Pray for each of the houses and schools, the families and visitors. If you’re walking some pray for the right side of the street others pray for the left. Walk quietly together and “think” your prayer to God. You might ask Jesus to walk through the neighborhood with you. (He’s already doing it but asking may help you to realize it!) Pray for God’s presence, peace, and protection to blanket the area. Pray that the neighborhood will be infused with Christ’s presence. If people come out and talk with you, you could mention that you’re from WPUMC on Collins St. and that you’re doing a prayer walk around the neighborhood. Ask them if there’s anything specific they’d like you to pray for.’ If you talk with anyone be sure to invite them to join us for lunch around 11! And if they come be sure to sit with them and get to know them.
If while walking, you see an opportunity to bless someone, do it! (Wave, smile, help someone unload their groceries, etc. When we’re done, come back here for the potluck! Sit with different people than the ones you walked with and talk about how you experienced the time and the prayer. What did you see or notice that you hadn’t before? Any God sightings?”
Our hope is that every church will intentionally pray for all the families in their neighborhood on a regular basis. Hope these resources help your church reach out in prayer.