She caught me in the hallway between Sunday School and worship, anxiety stretched taut across her face. A week earlier, this 75-year old lady had agreed to join a prayer walk. Now she struggled to tell me, “I don’t like to pray out loud… and I really can’t walk very far.” I glimpsed a bit of faith working its way through her honest anxiety, so I said, “Let’s do this; pray about it, and if you feel God is leading you to take part, come to the training. You can walk and pray with me.”
The next night I arrived for the training. She was already there, sitting in the middle of the sofa in our host’s living room. I think we both felt like God had something special in store for her this evening.
The training concluded and we traveled to the apartment area. The other teams headed out and followed their maps to walk and pray. She and I took the shortest route to the nearest apartments. I was surprised when she was the first to pray. She prayed for divine appointments, and I joined her in that prayer.
Near the end of our route, a young Hmong lady approached us asking who we were. I was surprised again when my prayer partner spoke up, telling her that we were from a nearby church and we were praying that God would bless the families living in this neighborhood. The young lady’s eyes lit up. “Are you praying to the Christian God?” she asked. Then she told us a story that went something like this:
Few things open our eyes to lostness better than walking and talking with Jesus about our neighbors.
“My family fled Laos when I was just a young girl. When we left Laos, we left the protection of our village gods. So when we arrived at the refugee camp in Thailand, we had no protection from Thai demons because we didn’t worship the Thai gods. I couldn’t sleep at night. I was terrified. But there was a man in the camp. He worshipped the Christian God. I told him about my fear. He told me that his God was over all demons and above all gods, Laotian and Thai. He often prayed for my family in the name of Jesus. When he prayed, I could sleep. Soon, we left the refugee camp and I promised the man that when I got to America, I would find out more about this Christian God. Can you help me?”
Tears washed the anxiety from my prayer partner’s face as she prayed for this young lady. After several gospel conversations in the following weeks, my wife and I had the privilege of leading the young lady to faith in Christ – the God above all gods.
Let me challenge you to prayer walk your neighborhood. Few things open our eyes to lostness better than walking and talking with Jesus about our neighbors.
- Walk with prayerful intentionality
Whether walking, biking or running, pray with your eyes open to the needs in your neighborhood.
- Pray for divine appointments
God is at work in your neighborhood. Prayer brings us into direct contact with His work among our neighbors.
- Consider using a tool like Bless Every Home
Tools like these help us pray, care and share.
You might be anxious with the thought of reaching out to your neighbors, but you can walk and pray, trusting that God’s already at work. And when He shows you where, tears of joy will wash the anxiety off your face, too.