Praying Together for the Good of the Neighborhood
Our friends, Peter and Sandy, at Little Bethel Church in Hamilton, were inspired by the weeks of 24/7 prayer we have been running the last few years. A couple of weeks ago they transformed their sanctuary into a prayer space for their east end neighborhood. For three days, members of the church and the community came in to pray for the local schools, churches, families, and neighborhood. Here’s a video tour of the prayer space..
My personal fave on this one is the “un-named church” on the bottom left hand corner….
This was my very favorite thing in the prayer space. A large piece of canvas on the floor, with a map (to scale) of the neighborhood. You could put a sticker on your house (and I’m a sucker for stickers), and prayerwalk your neighborhood in a matter of seconds!
While our team from GOHOP was visiting to pray in the space, a First Nations woman from the neighborhood wandered in. She was warmly welcomed, and when she noticed a Native drum hanging on the wall, she was invited to play it. We were treated to a healing song, and even a little dancing. “Would you like to smudge?” Peter asked her. She would, and they promptly provided her with all of the accoutrements for smudging. And then provided us with some articles about smudging traditions and the use of incense in Christian traditions, just in case we felt uncomfortable with it. We explored together the common theme of offering prayer as incense, and seeking spiritual cleansing. “You have to cleanse the mouth, because it’s not what goes in it that’s the problem, it’s what comes out of it,” our new friend told us. Hmm, I recall Jesus teaching the same thing…
In the centre of this photo is a “trouble spot”, an apartment building adjacent to the church that is a hot spot for crime and drugs. Little Bethel has been praying for this building for a long time, and took a photo of it to put in the prayer room, to invite others to pray along as well. When they were taking the photo, the owners of the building came out and asked them what they were doing. Peter and Sandy told them, and in the ensuing conversation, found out that the building was under new ownership, that the new owners were wanting to clean it up. Could Little Bethel bring a prayer team to the building to pray through it? You bet they could!
Wonderful, inspiring prayer project. Wouldn’t it be fantastic if every neighborhood got prayed for like this?