Sometimes you only need to walk out your front door.
Sometimes walking out the front door to connect with someone is harder than flying across the world. If I connect with someone in my community, that might bring baggage with it, expectation, or at the very least the awkward hellos that come from moving a relationship past weather and news reports.
Last spring, my Jr High youth wanted to go outside…desperately. Their thoughts were distracted from my (incredibly engaging or boring, depending on who you ask) study of identity, by the promise of sun and freedom waiting right around the corner with summertime.
Mrs. Goehmann, “Can we go to the park?”
Heidi, “Can we play football?”
Mrs. Goehmann, “Look, it’s a squirrel on the windowsill. He gets to be outside!”
They wanted to go outside so bad they invented an idea – Sandals Sunday.
Sandals Sunday involved the complex concept of wearing sandals and having Sunday School at the park.
They are persistent buggers and I love them for it.
Then, we thought about it more. What if we prayed over our sandals and all the places Jesus takes our feet? Wait, what about all the feet that run and play and rest in the park every day? What if we prayed for them?
Now we were getting somewhere. In the end, it rained horribly the day of Sandals Sunday and was about 52° F degrees outside. The good news about Jr High students is they can’t be thwarted like adults can by measly little details such as weather. So, we walked and we prayed, and prayed, and prayed some more. The kids led the prayers, I led the prayers, sometimes we just left it to God do the communicating while we kept our mouths closed. We prayed for moms and dads who would bring kids. We prayed for all the scruffy sneakered feet that come to play on the playground. We prayed for the drivers in the street and the kids who use the crosswalk. We prayed for soldiers and their families near our WWII memorial. We prayed for the Jr High across the street. Once we started, all we could do was think of new people and places to pray over.
In today’s podcast, BJ Fouts, pastor, husband, dad, and encourager of ideas shares with us his own experience recently of leading a prayer walk for all ages through his small-town community of Battle Creek, Nebraska. It’s inspiring and idea-filled. BJ’s prayer walk ideas are well suited for any size town, city, ministry, group, family, or individual. There’s no one right way to do a prayer walk, only opening the door, inviting Jesus in deeper to your places and spaces, and as a bonus, meeting a neighbor or two along the way.
Jesus - The one who brings us sunshine, bare toes and sandals, and a community to be a part of.
He lives to intercede for us. May we live to breath Him into the world.
“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” Hebrews 7:25 NIV