A prayer resource from the Evangelical Alliance to help us pray for our neighbourhoods

During these days of limited movement and limited gathering, we are missing the togetherness right at the heart of church, because we are, at our core, an embodied, communal people.

Yet, in the absence of physical church gatherings, we have an opportunity to revitalise the scattered church. For as long as our church buildings are closed, we can be reminded that we are the church, in our everyday comings and goings.

“The church is Christ’s body, in which He speaks and acts, by which He fills everything with His presence.” (Eph. 1:23 MSG)

Embedded into our neighbourhoods

We, the church, are an embedded people who are intentionally rooted into neighbourhoods and communities by God. Each day we are able to actively worship in the places we inhabit.

Pray in God’s presence, everywhere

We, the church, are a people restored to God’s presence, in and through the person and work of Jesus Christ.

God’s presence works and moves beyond the church building. God calls us to follow Him in whole-life worship. As people of God, we live out His word in the power of His Spirit, and we follow as He leads us to where He is working and moving throughout His world.

Prayer as participation

Jesus taught His followers to pray “your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven”. He urged His people to pray and to seek tangible transformation in the lives of people and the culture of the places we inhabit – here and now. As we, His people, “united in Christ”, pray His words over and for the places where we live, we participate in the renewing work of Jesus, made possible through His life, death, resurrection and reign. And so we pray in powerful participation – “In Jesus’ name, Amen”.

Prayer is the place where the reign and rule of God begins to break through, in His power, through His people, one in Christ.

Pray in unity

When we pray, we express that we need God. Prayer leads us into a spirit of unity as we recognise and articulate our longing and expectation for the Lord of heaven and earth to renew His world. Prayer is the place where the reign and rule of God begins to break through, in His power, through His people, one in Christ.

Pray for people and places

The experience of lockdown has limited travel and movement for many of us. We have been drawn back into our neighbourhoods and have a renewed awareness of our local area.

Pray as you walk—a prayer walk resource

The Evangelical Alliance invites you to embark on a daily prayer walk – a time when you are attentive to God’s presence in the places you walk, seeing His heart for the people around you and responding to His Spirit.

We can use their prayer resource to unite in prayer for people in this time and place.

How to use the prayer walk resource

Here are prayers that you can use as you walk through your neighbourhood. Copy and print the prayers that are meaningful for you in your place.

As you pray these prayers allow the words to draw you into an awareness of God’s promised presence that permeates all places.

Be inspired by each prayer, as God’s people, to offer ourselves as the people through whom God brings the transformation He seeks.

Be attentive to who you walk past; as you smile, greet and safely interact, consider what God might be doing in their lives.

Use these prayers as examples to inspire your own words to God. Or use the words of each prayer, knowing many others around UK, and in this same area, and within your own church community, are united in these words and praying them in their own places.

If you are unable to get out, or staying in today

I invite you to go on a virtual prayer walk. Prayerfully “visit” the places around your home and significant places in your neighbourhood, praying as if you were at the gate, or in the room.

Pray  now:

Father God, I join with my brothers and sisters in Christ to pray for my neighbourhood, each of us at our various times. Thank you for the blessing of family, home, friends, food, faith, security and health.

As we pray, we make ourselves available to you, offering you all we have.

As you have blessed us, may we be quick and ready to bless others.

In Jesus’ name. Amen


Nursing homes and elderly residences

We pray a blessing over this home that brings care and community to the elderly as the virus strikes hardest here.
We pray for all who work in this community, and ask for your strength, energy and protection as they bring your caring touch.

We pray for the elderly, disconnected from loved ones. May they be drawn to your presence, have access to your word, and meet you in the silence.
We pray for those living with dementia. We ask for your presence to bring order over inner chaos and security over confusion.
Give us eyes to see, hearts to love, words to speak, and hands to care for those near to us.
In Jesus’ name, Amen


Local businesses

We bless the local businesses that serve and connect our community day to day.
We pray for business leaders to be creative, compassionate, generous and honest in these challenging times.

We thank you for the government support packages.
We pray for protection on all staff who continue to work. May we be thoughtful consumers, committed to the good of this local community.

Lord, we pray for those furloughed, closed businesses, for the unemployed today, those who face job loss, who live under financial pressure. Help us to see individual needs and lead us into a spirit of radical generosity in this time of crisis.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


NHS: GPs, chemists, clinics, hospitals

We thank you for the healthcare we enjoy in this country and call out for mercy for those with much less.

We pray for the hands of NHS workers to bring healing and wholeness to body and mind.

We pray for scientific and medical understanding and responses to the virus to be developed quickly.

Lord, we pray for each frontline staff worker who enters this place. We ask for protection from the virus, for wisdom as they care, and for stamina as they face new challenges.

We pray for those undergoing or waiting for healthcare during this time. Lord, have mercy.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Churches/Church buildings

We thank you for the presence of all your people who gather in this place. May we be one, as you are one.

We ask you to gift each leader with imagination and creativity to find new models of ministry in this strange season. Enable them to form your people in worship, to proclaim the kingdom, to care for unique needs. Keep them close to you.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Schools

We pray for this school community. We pray for teachers providing lessons in new ways. We pray for children and young people studying at home, many at key transition times.

We pray blessing over the formation of young minds and characters in this season. May this generation be engraved with the need to remember their Creator.

We pray for families that face additional challenges of disability and special needs – the many parents exhausted and children struggling. Give them your strength, your peace.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Recreation grounds, parks, leisure/community centres and mental/emotional health

We thank you for these places of creativity, connection and fun.

We pray for those struggling with mental and emotional health and isolation – for those who live day to day, gripped by fear, far from laughter.

Light of the world, penetrate the darkness today. May we be quick to draw near, to bring your comfort, your hope on a dark day.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Families

We thank you and pray for our families. We pray for those living without family just now, disconnected and missing those they love.

We pray for parents juggling school, work and home in a time of pressure.

We ask you to strengthen marriages amid this extra stress.

May we, in your power, offer a spirit of joy, love, peace, harmony, patience and forgiveness.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Councils, government offices

We pray for those who make decisions for this country and this local area – for politicians, council members, department heads and public leaders.

Grant them with wisdom, compassion, integrity and health.

We pray for unity of purpose. May they not be overwhelmed by the responsibilities placed upon them.

Give them eyes to hear the cries of the vulnerable. For your people in these places, strengthen their hands as they seek the welfare of our country at this time.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


Legal offices, police, courts

We thank you, God of justice, for the systems of justice in place in this country. We pray for all who work to ensure justice during this time. We pray for police services which seek to protect the good of society. We pray for their protection and their health.

We pray for justice for the oppressed, particularly those who suffer domestic violence. May we be swift to overcome evil with good.

In Jesus’ name, Amen


On return home

“May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine on us – so that your ways may be known on earth, your salvation among all nations.

May the peoples praise you, O God; may all the peoples praise you.”

(Psalm 67:1-3)